The four family members killed in an apparent murder-suicide this weekend have been identified, as more details have emerged about the shocking violence that no one seems have seen coming.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, police believe David Schladetzky, 53, shot and killed his sons William, 11, and Nelson, 8, before fatally shooting their mother, 39-year-old Kjersten Schladetzky at her home in on Oakland Avenue in Minneapolis. David and Kjersten were both found dead inside the home, and the boys were shot in the front yard.
The couple had finalized their divorce, reportedly initiated by David, this past summer and shared custody of the boys. According to the report, David had come to the home on Sunday morning to pick up his sons for a visit. The boys reportedly ran to the front porch to meet him, where he was waiting with a gun. The boys then tried to run away, but he shot at them in the front yard, where responding police officers found them unresponsive. Both were later pronounced dead.
After shooting his sons, David went inside the house where he shot his wife and then himself. It is not clear how long the couple had been dead when police eventually broke into the home, reportedly after attempting to negotiate entry.
According to court records obtained by the newspaper, David Schladetzky did not have any criminal history and had never been the subject of a protective order. It is not yet known how he obtained the gun, but the report notes that he would likely have been able to purchase one legally.
Kjersten Schladetzky had reportedly worked for Tessitura Network, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the internet technology needs of arts and cultural establishments, for the past five years; which sometimes involved work with New York City’s Museum of Natural History, as well as venues overseas. According to the report, Kjersten was the family breadwinner while David had been stay-at-home dad. Following their divorce, David moved into his own apartment and worked in catering part-time.
Authorities have not yet commented on a possible motive for the murder-suicide. Experts who weighed in for the Star-Tribune article speculated that the finality of the divorce may have triggered something in David Schladetzky.
“It makes you wonder if there was something that made him feel like this was done, done, and there was no chance that she was coming back,” Jacquelyn Campbell, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing who co-authored a study on violent deaths, told the newspaper.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
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