‘I have made the absolutely horrid choice, Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad wrote on Facebook on Tuesday before four members of his family as they slept and their dog
Sean Barry, 41, his wife Rian Barry, were both shot and killed along with their daughters Shiway, 12, and Sadie, aged nine on Tuesday night as they slept in their bed at home in Duluth, MN
The killer was Rian and Sean’s nephew Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad, who took his own life the day after when police came to the door
When police responded the 29-year-old Minnesota man turned the gun on himself
On Wednesday morning relatives who saw his suicidal social media post went to Cole-Skogstad’s home in Hermantown, a suburb of Duluth around 11.18 AM
When they found no answer, they alerted police in Duluth, who went to the home of Cole-Skogstad’s aunt and uncle
They arrived at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday and heard a gunshot; Police believe that was Cole-Skogstad killing himself
Officials believe he killed his aunt, uncle, and two young cousins in their beds while they slept sometime on Tuesday night, and did not spare the family dog either
A 29-year-old Minnesota man shot and killed his aunt and uncle, their two young daughters and the family dog while they slept – and then later killed himself, authorities said Thursday.
He carried out the shocking massacre after posting on Facebook that he had made ‘the absolutely horrid choice’ to do so, a shocking confession that his surviving family members confirmed.
Mike Tusken, chief of Duluth police, fought back tears as he spoke of the murder of 44-year-old Rian Barry, her husband Sean, 47, and their daughters Shiway, 12, and Sadie, aged nine.
Authorities identify family of 4 murdered in Duluth, MN
Rian and Sean’s nephew, Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad, is believed to have killed his relatives in their beds sometime on Tuesday night, then shot himself as police knocked on the door around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Cole-Skogstad made his Facebook post about an hour earlier, saying he had ‘suffered many years of mental illness’ but that he ‘almost never sought out help because I felt I never deserved it.’
He wrote about suffering from mental illness for years, and said he wished he could go back and make better choices in life.
‘I would have ignored the hatred thrown at me by peers for so long.’
He continued: ‘I have made the absolutely horrid choice in not only taking my life, but the lives of my aunt, Riana Lou Barry, my uncle Sean Barry, and my two sweet, beyond angelic cousins Sadie Lucille Barry and Shiway Elizabeth Barry.’
Cole-Skogstad says he made the decision because he had told Shiway, 12, he considered suicide, and the declaration saw ‘all my past scars opened’
The post ends: ‘I cannot fathom how I came to this decision, but I do know this. If there is a God sitting in heaven, I wish so much that he grant my family the most peaceful heavenly afterlife possible.
‘I love you all and please know I knew you all loved me. I tried my best to fight it. Good bye.’**Tusken confirmed the authenticity of the post.
Officers went to check on Cole-Skogstad on Wednesday morning at 11:18 a.m., at his home in Hermantown, after a family member received a message from him saying he intended to harm himself and other family members.
Hermantown police then asked Tusken’s department to check on his relatives in nearby Duluth.
‘It is a terribly traumatic event,’ said Tusken.
*We all have really heavy hearts.’
‘Incidents like these shake our sense of safety as a community and the region as a whole,’ Tusken said.
‘In my 30 years of policing, I have never seen anything like this.
‘Sometimes people forget that the officers and investigators responding to the scene have families too. This is devastating for them to respond to, to see, and to process afterwards.
‘It’s heart-wrenching. You can’t unsee it.’
Police used a drone and robot to investigate before tactical officers entered the home at 3pm on Wednesday – over two hours after hearing the shot.
Cole-Skogstad had stayed at the family’s home previously, the chief said, but he offered no information on what precipitated the killings.
Duluth and Hermantown police checked 911 logs but found no calls indicating any concerns about the man, Chief Tusken said.
Duluth is a city of nearly 87,000 that’s about 150 miles north of Minneapolis, on the shore of Lake Superior.