DULUTH, Minnesota (AP) — A man killed his aunt and uncle, two young cousins, and their dog while they slept, then later killed himself in their Minnesota home after posting on Facebook that he had made “the absolutely horrible choice” to do so, police said Thursday.
Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken told a news conference that Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad, 29, killed his loved ones in their bed on Tuesday night and then killed himself as police struck out the door around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Cole-Skogstad posted his post on Facebook about an hour earlier, saying he had “suffered many years of mental illness” but “hardly ever asked for help because I felt like I couldn’t never deserved it.” Tusken confirmed the authenticity of the message.
Officers went to check on Cole-Skogstad late Wednesday morning at his home in Hermantown after a family member received a message from him saying he intended to harm himself and others. other family members, Tusken said. Hermantown police then asked the Tusken Department to check on his relatives in nearby Duluth.
Tusken identified the victims as Riana Lou Barry, 44; Sean Christopher Barry, 47; Shiway Elizabeth Barry, 12; and Sadie Lucille Barry, 9. He said they were shot and police found a 9mm handgun near Cole-Skogstad’s body.
“It’s a terribly traumatic event. … We all have very heavy hearts,” Tusken said.
Police used a drone and robot to investigate before tactical officers entered the house at 3pm, around 2.5 hours after hearing the shot.
Cole-Skogstad had previously stayed at the family home, the chief said, but he offered no information about what precipitated the killings. Duluth and Hermantown police checked 911 logs but found no calls indicating concerns about the man, he said.
Duluth is a city of nearly 87,000 people located about 241 kilometers north of Minneapolis on the shore of Lake Superior. The chief said he had never seen four victims in a homicide case in his 30 years of service.
The spelling of Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad’s surname has been corrected in one instance.
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