VIDEO: Man shot wife, 3 kids in Lake Minnetonka murder-suicide, local media report
GREENWOOD, Minn. - A family of five found dead in their home in an affluent west metro suburb all died of gunshot wounds in an apparent murder-suicide, police said Friday, though it remained unclear who did the shooting.
GREENWOOD, Minn. – A family of five found dead in their home in an affluent west metro suburb all died of gunshot wounds in an apparent murder-suicide, police said Friday, though it remained unclear who did the shooting.
Authorities on Thursday afternoon discovered Brian Short in the lower level of the home's garage in the Lake Minnetonka community of Greenwood. His wife, Karen, and their three teenage children were found in their bedrooms.
At a Friday news conference, the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department did not say who did the shooting but did say that the gun likely used was found at the scene.
"At this point we cannot positively say who shot whom," police said in a statement issued after the news conference. "The medical examiner's determination will answer that."
However, several Twin Cities media outlets reported Friday evening that Brian Short shot his family and then himself. They cited sources close to the investigation.
Authorities have also not officially identified the family members.
However, a Thursday evening post on AllNurses.com, a nursing industry website founded by Brian Short, confirmed that the family of five was dead.
Brian Short, 45, and Karen Short, 48, had three children: Brooklyn, 14, Madison, 15, and Cole, 17.
"It is with great regret and a very heavy heart that I have to share some very sad news with you," the AllNurses.com post said.
"There is no easy way to say this ... Brian and his family have passed away."
The post went on to say that authorities were still investigating the circumstances that led to their deaths.
"No matter what the details are, the results are still the same ... a very tragic loss for the extended families, friends, co-workers and this nursing community," the post said.
Police discovered the five bodies in the Shorts' home on Channel Drive on Thursday afternoon after receiving a request for a welfare check at the house on a wooded cul-de-sac. No one had been seen or heard from at the residence in days, and the children hadn't shown up for school.
Greenwood, with a population of 700, is just east of Excelsior on the southern shore of Lake Minnetonka.
Property records indicate Brian and Karen Short bought the house in 2011 for about $2 million.
The Minnetonka Public School District described its high school family as "devastated by the news" of the deaths and issued a statement to parents about what happened.
On Friday morning, a moment of silence was held at the school, which all three Short children attended, to mark the tragedy, according to Janet Swiecichowski, a district spokesman.
The school's principal also addressed students over the intercom.
"He told them that we probably have a lot of questions and certainly we don't have very many answers right now, and we may never have some," Swiecichowski said. "So we really want to rely on each other and make sure we are talking through our feelings ... and really making sure that the students know that there are adults that really care about them who they can turn to if they're struggling."
A nurse himself, Brian Short started AllNurses.com in 1997. The popular networking site for nurses attracted the attention of advertisers. In early 2014, it had 4 million unique monthly visitors and more than 5,000 pages of content, according to a business profile in the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune.
On Friday, there were more than 170 comments on the website's post about Brian Short's death.
"Brian created something with (AllNurses.com) that has left a positive impact on the profession and the future of nursing," one person wrote. "He will be remembered with deep respect for his role in that. We are all shocked and saddened by the news."
"Heartbroken and mystified," wrote another."
AllNurses.com was sued for defamation in federal court in New Jersey earlier this year by a nursing test preparation company.
Achieve Test Prep alleged that moderators for AllNurses.com approved posts that were "false, misleading, defamatory, and derogatory against ATP, and favorable to AllNurses." ATP also alleged that AllNurses.com gave preferential treatment to Excelsior College, a competitor of ATP's and an advertiser on AllNurses.com.
A judge recently ordered the case transferred to Minnesota.
Brian Short's Facebook page shows a family man who was interested in nursing and wildlife.
Among the many photos posted on the site are pictures of the Short family vacationing in Mexico earlier this year, his daughter playing soccer and a birthday celebration for the family's dog.