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Duluth Police: Man shot and killed four family members

Police said they believe the man shot and killed four people, including two young children, in their Duluth home Wednesday afternoon.

DULUTH, Minn — Duluth Police have identified the man they say is responsible for shooting and killing four people and a family dog in Duluth on Wednesday before taking his own life. 

According to police, 29-year-old Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad shot and killed four members of the Barry family while they were sleeping in their home on the 700 block of East 12th Street.

All of the victims were from Duluth. They were identified by police Thursday as Riana Lou Barry,  44, Sean Christopher Barry, 47, Shiway Elizabeth Barry, 12, and Sadie Lucille Barry, 9.

Duluth Police have categorized this case as a murder-suicide, and said that a gun was found near Cole-Skogstad's body inside the home.

Hermantown Police were initially called for a welfare check around 11 a.m. on April 20 at the 4100 block of Timber Lane Drive. Police said they believed Cole-Skogstad, the subject of that check, was experiencing a mental health crisis. Cole-Skogstad was not at home, but a subsequent investigation led authorities to the Barry's home in Duluth's East Hillside neighborhood.

Police were also notified of a social media post made by Cole-Skogstad, where he threatened to hurt himself and family members.

In a statement, Duluth police said officers heard a single gunshot come from inside the Barry's home just before 12:30 p.m. Officers then did a tactical retreat and requested additional help from local agencies before getting access to the home. Police used robots and drones to search the premises before the Duluth PD Tactical Team searched the entire home.

At that point, police said the victims were found in their beds.

A dog was also found dead inside the home.

"It’s tough on all of us. It's tough on our cops," said Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken. "A lot of our police officers have families. And any time you go into a situation like this, it's tough to see that tragedy, it’s terribly heart wrenching. And you can't un-see it. So it's very difficult."

On Twitter Wednesday, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said that the community is in "pain and shock," adding that what happened "can't be undone."

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the Barry family.

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, one in five adults experiences mental illness in 2020. Most people experiencing mental illness are not dangerous.

If your or someone you know is facing a mental health crisis, one of the following resources can help:

Minnesota Crisis Text Line 

Text "MN" to 741741 

National Suicide Prevention hotline

1-800-273-8255 

NAMI

Contact NAMI Minnesota at www.namimn.org for classes and resources on mental health, advocacy, education and support or call 651-645-2948.

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