DULUTH, Minn. (WCCO) — Authorities say that five family members and a dog were found dead Wednesday afternoon inside a Duluth home.
The Duluth Police Department says that the bodies were found in a home on the 700 block of East 12th Street in the city’s East Hillside neighborhood.
According to investigators, police were searching for someone in regards to a welfare check in nearby Hermantown early Wednesday morning and the investigation led officers to the Duluth home.
Duluth police responded to the home around 12:30 p.m., believing that the person they were looking for had access to weapons. After officers entered the home wearing tactical gear, they found the bodies of five people, all believed to be related.
The names of the people have yet to be released, as authorities are working to notify their relatives. Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken spoke Wednesday night before we connected with grieving neighbors.
“Earlier today an unimaginable tragedy that struck our community. One that really is very, very difficult to us,” Tusken said. “Makes us have heavy, heavy hearts.”
Two neighbors tell WCCO it was a family of four and their dog who were found dead in their home. One neighbor said it’s just impossible to make sense of a tragedy like this. We’re told it was a mom, dad and two young daughters.
“I connected with them as far as snowblowing, shoveling and their book club. I just can’t believe it. It doesn’t make any sense to me,” neighbor Joe Miller said.
The fifth person dead was the subject of the welfare check. A neighbor tells WCCO they were a relative of the family, and they may have been in the midst of a mental health crisis
No information has yet been released as to how the people died. Police say there is no threat to the public.
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson issued a statement on Twitter, saying that the city is in shock, “sharing a sorrow for the loss of our people.”
She said more details will be provided once they are confirmed, and she thanked the first responders who were called to the home.
“My heart, like yours, absolutely hurts for the pain of loved ones and the fear people likely experienced on their final day here with us,” Larson said.