Sheriff says shooter in murder-suicide may have been depressed

Publish date:

Two days after a deadly shooting in rural Olmsted County that left two teenagers dead, investigators are working to piece together what led up to the incident.

Kayla Koranda, 18, of Rochester and Nick Roecker, 19, of Pine Island were friends and classmates at Lourdes High School in Rochester before going off to college last year.

Koranda was a liberal arts student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and Roecker was studying science and engineering at University of Minnesota Duluth.

On Monday afternoon, Olmsted County Sheriff's deputies and medical personnel were called to Roecker's home in rural Pine Island, about 15 miles north of Rochester.

KSTP reports Roecker's father found the two in a shed on his property, both with gunshot wounds, and called 911.

When first responders arrived, Koranda was pronounced dead and Roecker was “clinging to life.” He was taken to the hospital, where he died a short time later.

Olmsted County Sheriff Dave Mueller told the Rochester Post-Bulletin that the location of the gunshot wounds indicate Roecker shot Koranda, and then Roecker shot himself.

Image placeholder title

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Olmsted County Sheriff's Office continue to investigate.

Mueller believes Roecker was dealing with mental health issues, possibly depression, and Koranda had come to visit him, the newspaper says. It doesn't appear the two were romantically involved, KSTP noted.

However, Jefferey Eastman, a neighbor who knew Roecker well, said that he hadn't noticed anything wrong.

"He was always willing to help, good kid, hard worker, smart, easy going, just a great kid, nothing bothering him that I knew of,” Eastman told KAAL.

Eastman said Roecker and his family were very close and had just returned from an ice fishing trip.

"They're searching for answers," Eastman said.

Next Up