Five dead in apparent murder-suicide in Minnesota

Posted at 4:34 PM, Sep 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-13 16:38:13-04

GREENWOOD, Minnesota (CNN) — Five members of a Minnesota family have died in what police are calling an apparent murder-suicide.

Police discovered the bodies Thursday in the expansive home near Lake Minnetonka in Greenwood, Minnesota, after going to the home on a welfare check.

Authorities didn’t name the victims, although local media outlets — citing family friends and a post on a business owned by one of the victims — identified them as Brian Short, his wife Karen, and their three children, two girls and a boy.

Aside from saying there was no danger to the public, police also declined to detail the apparent murder-suicide, which left interim South Lake Minnetonka Police Department Chief Michael Siitari all but speechless.

“There’s no words to describe it,” he told CNN affiliate WCCO of the crime scene.

Neighbors told CNN affiliate KARE they saw no signs of trouble in the family.

“Totally shocked,” said neighbor Doug Plocek. “Not in the depths of my mind did I think something like that could happen. So to have something of this magnitude, and especially when it involves children, it just tears me apart.”

Family friend Kari Smiths was also caught off guard.

“They liked to have gatherings and friends over. Then as a family they were really close knit, did a lot of things together, vacations and sports and stuff,” she said.

Roy Schepers, a friend of the Shorts’ son, told CNN affiliate WCCO that nothing seemed amiss when they were last together at a bonfire.

“He seemed happy, he was laughing. Life was good,” he said.

Siitari warned of a complex crime scene and a likely protracted investigation before police will have answers about what happened, but said it does not appear there is any danger to the public.