ST PAUL, Minn. — Yia Xiong, 33, and his wife Ka Lor, 30, had been married for 10 years, and family members say their murder-suicide incident Tuesday night came out of nowhere.
The couple, along with their five kids, had just returned from their annual summer camping trip to Duluth, not realizing it'd be their last.
"I just wish he could've given me a call," said Xiong's brother, Chee Nu Xiong.
A call, similar to the one Chee Nu says his brother, Yia Xiong made the night before tragedy struck.
"We were joking; there's no voice or change that I would've known that you know what would happen," said Chee Nu.
St. Paul police say Xiong shot his wife, before turning the gun on himself Tuesday night, while their five young kids, all under the age of 10 were in the home.
It was the 9-year-old, police say, who called them.
"The father asked the five kids to go down in the basement, just go play or whatever. The older son heard three gunshots," explained Chee Nu.
Something Xiong's great-grandfather, speaking through a translator with the Hmong 18 Council, says his family never saw coming.
"I can tell you as a grandpa, they are a great couple together, great parents. They have never shown any physical harm," said Jouatrue Siong.
"Stable house, stable job — my brother worked, my sister in-law worked, kids going to school and stuff like that," said Chee Nu. "His kids are his heart, his world."
The family is now left to raise the children, while they search for answers that may never come.
"They're still thinking that their parents are either at work or either still sleeping," said Chee Nu. "It's just heartbroken they won't be there anymore."
"Now that they're gone, I don't know what to do. I still don't know what happened and I will miss them," said Siong.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the family in making sure the five kids have a bright future.
SPPD asks anyone experiencing domestic violence in their life to seek help and guidance from organizations such as Saint Paul Intervention Project, at 651-645-2824.
Anyone experiencing suicidal or harmful thoughts to seek help from mental health professionals such as, Ramsey County Crisis Line at 651-266-7900 or to text or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.
Watch more local news:
Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities in our YouTube playlist: