Police were responding to a call about an unknown medical situation when they found the shooting victims. Two of the victims — a woman in her 30s and a girl in her early teens — were pronounced dead at the scene, while an 8-to-12-year-old boy was transported to a local hospital where he died of his wounds a few hours later.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting were unclear, but a police officer had conducted a welfare check at the residence just one hour before the shooting, according to St. Paul police spokesperson Sgt. Mike Ernster
“He was called here by a concerned family member from out of state who wanted us to check on the welfare of the supposed victim in this home. Our officer did come here, he did speak with her at the door and explained why he was there,” Ernster told reporters Saturday evening. “She looked at him and said, ‘I’m OK, tell them I’m OK.'”
Police said they believe the woman who interacted with the police officer earlier in the day was the woman in her 30s who later died. They had conducted another welfare check at the same residence prior to Saturday.
“We had been here once before on a similar call, a welfare check,” Ernster said. “They were just [concerned about] her welfare, that she could be in danger, that type of call, possibly involved a domestic type situation.”
St. Paul police Chief Todd Axtell called the shooting “a senseless tragedy that’s left us all heartbroken.”
“The investigators and officers will continue to work around the clock until they find the person responsible,” he said.