Police: Brian Short killed family in Lake Minnetonka home, then himself


An autopsy has found that the five members of the Short family, whose bodies were found at a Lake Minnetonka home Thursday, died from shotgun wounds to the head – with father Brian Short responsible.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has confirmed that the five who died at the house in Channel Road, Greenwood were Brian and Karen Short, and their teenage children: son Cole, 17, and daughters Madison, 15, and Brooklyn, 14.

The examiner has ruled that Brian Short died from a "self-inflicted" shotgun wound to the head, while his wife and children died after being shot in the head.

"The South Lake Minnetonka Police Department can confirm that the Short family death investigation is a murder/suicide," a statement from the police said Saturday. "All evidence indicates Brian Short killed his family members in their bedrooms before turning the gun on himself.

"Although the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department received the welfare check on Thursday, September 10, the investigation estimates the killings occurred late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. No motive has been discovered."

In a press conference on Friday, South Lake Minnetonka Police Interim Chief Mike Siitari described the case as "gruesome" and "complex," saying the investigation is likely to take several days.

The bodies of the children and Karen Short were found in their bedrooms, while Brian Short's was found in a lower-level garage.

One aspect of the police's investigation will be finding a motive for the killings, with one area of attention being Brian Short's internet company, the nursing database Allnurses.com, which confirmed his death on Thursday.

The company posted another message on its Facebook page Friday, describing Short as a "stellar leader" who will be "greatly missed by all."

The Star Tribune, citing sources, suggested Saturday that financial issues might have played a factor, though none of this has been confirmed by officials.

The newspaper notes that Allnurses was facing a lawsuit from a New Jersey-based competitor, but said it is unclear "whether it posed much of a legal or financial threat to his business."

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