EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — A community in mourning filled Eden Prairie’s Grace Church Sunday evening to remember a family that died in an unthinkable way.
Authorities say 45-year-old Brian Short shot his wife and three children on Sept. 10 before turning the gun on himself. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner says Short died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound and killed the other members of his family inside their Greenwood home on Lake Minnetonka.
At the family’s memorial, relatives said Brian Short was suffering from anxiety and depression. One family friend discussed the rise of Brian Short’s business that provided education and social networking to fellow nurses.
“This is the story so many of us were so proud to share countless times,” he said.
Family and friends called Brian and Karen Short a genuine and unpretentious couple that never forgot where they came from. Relatives said the couple passed on those same qualities to their three children, Cole, 17, Madison, 15, and Brooklyn, 14. The three siblings all attended Minnetonka High School and participated in several activities and sports.
Members of Brooklyn’s soccer team placed flowers on a table inside the church chapel that held a photograph of the Short family, as well as five urns.
A brother-in-law, Leo Williams, said Brian Short was struggling to find his way back in 1994 when he met Karen. Williams said Short eventually became a nurse in emergency rooms within Hennepin County before starting his website that would later provide the family with an upscale lifestyle.
“Brian achieved more than I think he thought he ever would, but deep down there was a storm brewing,” Williams said.
While the couple’s greatest successes, their children, flourished, Williams said business began to crumble and Brian changed.
“He was no longer seen out on the lake and he wasn’t at family gatherings,” Williams said.
Williams said the man who killed his family was not the same Brian Short his family and friends has known for years.
“How could this guy who seemed to love his family do this?” Williams said. “The answer is simple, we will never know.”
Amidst a harsh reality many shared delicate and happy memories of a family that seemed to live the American dream.
The youngest family member, Brooklyn’s best friends spoke about the 14 year old.
“I love you Brook, our memories will stay with me forever,” the young classmate said. “Thanks for always being my best friend.”
A memorial fund has been set up for members of the family at Provincial Bank. PO Box 459, Lakeville, MN 55044.