MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Twin Cities woman, who spent much of her time working to make her neighborhood better, was found dead in her home Thursday.

Police say it looks like someone broke in and killed 68-year-old Susan Spiller.

Officers found her door forced open, then discovered her body inside.

Spiller was a prominent artist. She was also on the board of a neighborhood association on Minneapolis’ North Side.

Her neighbors and friends describe Susan Spiller as a pillar of her north Minneapolis neighborhood.

“Susan Spiller was one of the kindest and sweetest people I know,” Duane Atter said. “She couldn’t kill a bug. Her passion was her artwork.”

She was an artist and community activist.

“I haven’t heard or seen anything like this in the almost 11 years I’ve been active here in this area,” K.G. Wilson said.

Recently retired, Spiller spent her time volunteering for a greyhound rescue group.

She was on the board of the Lind-Bohanon Neighborhood Association and Northside Arts Collective as a talented glass artist.

“She would have fired all this flat and then put these on top and fired it again to a lower temperature so you can still feel the texture,” fellow artist Connie Beckers said. “That’s what she was known for.”

Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson knew Spiller well and spoke Thursday about her friend’s death.

“There are people who are harmed by this terrible kind of violent activity, and it hurts all of us,” she said. “It hurts our city.”

Though Spiller is now gone, her presence is still in the neighborhood she loved — from the Lind Community Garden she created and managed to her art, designed and shared in a local boutique.

“She was very committed to the community,” Beckers said. “She did a lot for the Lind-Bohanon neighborhood.”

In a separate unsolved attack on the North Side, a man died in a shooting early Thursday morning.

A 911 call brought police to Thomas Avenue North. They discovered two men with gunshot wounds. One died; the other is in the hospital.

More than 110 people have been shot in Minneapolis this year, mostly on the North Side. Extra officers will now patrol trouble spots.

Anyone with information on the Spillers homicide is asked to call Minneapolis police at 1-800-222-8477 or send a text message to 274637 beginning with TIP674.

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