COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Two are dead in what police are calling a murder-suicide at a Cottage Grove strip mall on Thursday afternoon.
Cottage Grove police were called to the mall on the 7700 block of Harkness Avenue South just after 3:30 p.m. for a report of multiple shots fired.
When they arrived, they found the body of a woman inside of the Jimmy John's restaurant. A man suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. He was transported to Regions Hospital where he later died.
Crews set up a perimeter around the mall. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting Cottage Grove Police at the scene.
Jimmy John's employees who were working at the time tell KARE 11 the woman was fatally shot inside the store. The witnesses said the man starting shooting while outside the building before walking into Jimmy John's and shooting the woman multiple times.
The man, then, shot himself, witness said.
Jimmy John's employees say they hid in the refrigerator during the shooting.
Another witness, who was in the bathroom of the nearby Anytime Fitness, tells KARE 11 that he heard what he thought was dumbbells falling. The sound was multiple gunshots, one of which struck the window of the Anytime Fitness, police said.
Police said witnesses reported seeing a man chasing a woman in the strip mall parking lot. Police originally said it was unclear if the woman was shot inside or outside of the restaurant where her body was found.
Security cameras from a neighboring Anytime Fitness caught what happened outside Jimmy John's on tape. A spokesperson for Anytime Fitness tells KARE 11 the surveillance video shows the man waiting outside the gym. The tape shows the man chasing and shooting at the woman, before she ran into Jimmy John's.
The relationship between the two people involved is still unknown at this time. Their names have not been released.
No other injuries have been reported.
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