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Police have identified the family-of-four – including two children – who were killed by one of their relatives as they slept in their Duluth home.

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken confirmed Thursday afternoon that Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad, a 29-year-old resident of Hermantown, is believed to have shot his aunt, uncle, and two cousins at their home in the East Hillside neighborhood overnight on Tuesday, before later killing himself.

Their bodies were found Wednesday afternoon by police after authorities learned Cole-Skogstad had sent a message to a family member, indicating he intended to harm himself and others. 

The victims are:

  • Riana Lou Barry, age 44
  • Sean Christopher Barry, age 47
  • Shiway Elizabeth Barry, age 12
  • Sadie Lucille Barry, age 9

Tusken says the victims were all found dead in their beds, with a 9mm handgun recovered from the scene.

It was also confirmed that a post on Facebook by a person identifying himself as Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad was genuine, in which he talks about his mental illness, and about taking his own life and those of his relatives.

A picture of the Barry family taken in 2017.

A picture of the Barry family taken in 2017.

The message sent to a family member prior to being posted to Facebook prompted the welfare call to police in Hermantown, which eventually led Duluth police to the Barrys' home around 12:30 p.m.

Police heard a single gunshot as they got to the home, prompting a shift to a tactical operation. When they entered the property around 3 p.m., they found the five bodies, as well as the body of the Barrys' dog.

"Anytime you go into a situation like this, you see that tragedy, it’s terribly heart-wrenching and you can’t unsee it," Tusken said.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there is help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 provides around-the-clock free and confidential support for people in distress.

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