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Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad, who has been fatally shot by his aunt, uncle, and two cousins – whom he called “angelic” in a since-deleted Facebook post via Fox21, in which he confessed to the murders – as well as the family’s dog on Wednesday.
Brandon Taylor was 29 years old.
DETAIL OF INCIDENCE:
Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad, who has been fatally shot by his aunt, uncle, and two cousins – whom he called “angelic” in a since-deleted Facebook post via Fox21, in which he confessed to the murders – as well as the family’s dog on Wednesday. A Minnesota man fatally shot his aunt, uncle, and two cousins – whom he called “angelic” in a since-deleted Facebook post via Fox21, in which he confessed to the murders – as well as the family’s dog on Wednesday. The victims have been identified as the Barry family, Sean, 47; Riana, 44; Shipway, 12; and Sadie, 9, according to the Duluth Police Department.
The killer, who police have identified as 29-year-old Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad, was also found dead at the scene. Police have labeled the killings as murder-suicide. Just after noon on Wednesday, the Duluth Police Department responded to a report of an individual experiencing a mental health crisis, according to the department. The call had originated around 11:20 a.m. in Hermantown as a welfare check; however, when Hermantown Police were dispatched to check on Cole-Skogstad, they couldn’t locate or make contact with him. Hermantown Police then made contact with a family member who told them Cole-Skogstad sent a message saying he intended to hurt himself and other family members – that message is believed to have been posted on a social media page, according to police.
The Duluth Police Department was then called and given the address of the Barry family. Authorities received additional information that Cole-Skogstad had access to a weapon. After police approached the home around 12:30 p.m. and knocked on the door, officers say they heard what sounded like a single gunshot. Around 3 p.m., police were able to get inside the home, where they found five dead bodies, as well as the family dog, who was also dead. Police believe Cole-Skogstad shot and killed the family as they slept.”Incidents like these shake our sense of safety as a community and the region as a whole,” Chief Mike Tusken said. “In my 30 years of policing, I have never seen anything like this. Sometimes people forget that the officers and investigators responding to the scene have families too. This is devastating for them to respond to, see, and process afterward. I cannot thank the members of our team enough for their service, and for their care for this community.”
“On every level, this incident is deeply painful for our community,” Mayor Emily Larson said. “There is an only loss to every part of this story. To the Barry family: our community mourns with you and we share in your pain. Because your loss is our community’s loss.”
A GoFundMe created for the Barry family called them “a truly special family who impacted the lives of so many of those around them,” and words of support from those who knew them poured in.
“I lived in a house on their street a few years ago while I was in college. Sadie would always wave when she saw me, she would run up to me and excitedly tell me about what she did that day with her family. She even brought my roommates and me teeny tiny carrots she had ‘picked all by herself from their garden,” wrote one friend, adding she was “truly one of the sweetest kids I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.”
“Riana was my big sister’s best friend growing up, and she was so kind to me when I tagged along on their adventures,” wrote another friend. “This is such an unimaginable tragedy.”