MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Authorities in Minneapolis are investigating after a shooting Sunday morning — an apparent murder-suicide — left four people dead, including two children.
Neighbors told WCCO’s Jeff Wagner the victims are two young boys and their mother, Kjersten Schladetzky. Police believe their father shot them in home near 28th Street East and Oakland Avenue South. He was later found dead in the home.
The initial shooting led to a standoff with police officers and SWAT teams, lasting several hours. Crime scene investigators and detectives were at the scene well into the night, hours after the tragic incident came to its conclusion.
Neighbor Erik Wiltscheck said he can’t shake the deep sadness he feels after what he witnessed outside his neighbors’ home. He was walking back from a store when he saw the two children next door outside with their father.
“I actually thought it was a game at first, like the dad was kind of fake shooting them. But then all of sudden a loud ‘boom, boom, boom,’ and the kids are trying to get up,” Wiltscheck said.
As the shooter entered the home, Wiltscheck was one of several people to call 911. According to the Minneapolis Police Department, officers responded to the intersection around 10 a.m. Upon arrival, officers found the two boys suffering from gunshot wounds outside. The two boys didn’t survive their injuries.
Police reported hearing additional gunfire from inside the building, and set up a perimeter. Neighbors were evacuated from their homes, taken to nearby buses to keep warm. SWAT team members and negotiators were also summoned to the scene. Officers worked for several hours to try and make contact with an adult man they believed to be inside the home.
According to Minneapolis Police spokesperson John Elder, police deployed a robot to get video of what was going on inside the residence. Around 2 p.m., officers entered the home and found a deceased woman and male inside. Investigators believe this was a domestic situation; court records show that the two were in the midst of a divorce.
Officials say there had been no previous police calls to this residence.
Wiltscheck, who says he helped the woman shovel her sidewalk Sunday morning, was beside himself, especially over the death of the two boys.
“I just started tearing up and crying. It’s kids,” Wiltscheck said. “They’re so full of life, and to see lifeless bodies was just really, you just can’t imagine how horrible that really is.”
Chief Medaria Arradondo said trauma care specialists will visit with the neighbors on this block if they need help. He added the schools where the children attend were also informed, so they can prepare counselors tomorrow to help their classmates and staff.
“My heart and the hearts of the Minneapolis Police Department goes out to our victims and our victims family members,” Arradondo said. “Anytime we lose our community members, in particular our children to such violence, it makes us all feel very horrible. And today’s a very sad day for our city.”
For those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts, there is help available at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Call 1-800-273-8255.
Also available is the hotline from the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 651-645-2948.
The Twin Cities also has several crisis lines: