Schladetzky Murders: Neighbour Says He Begged Dad Not To Shoot His Two Sons
WARNING, GRAPHIC CONTENT: Kjersten Ellingson Schladetzky and her two sons were shot dead by her ex-husband in an apparent murder-suicide on Sunday, according to police.
Emergency services were called to a house in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at about 10am local time after reports of gunshots.
Schladetzky two young boys, aged eight and 11, were found dead by police.
CBS News reports neighbours witnessed the two boys as they were shot in the yard by their 53-year-old father, David Schladetzky.
It's understood David and Kjersten Schladetzky, 39, were recently divorced and the couple had agreed to joint custody of their sons.
On November 30 Kjersten had shared a photo on Facebook of her and the boys' smiling together, shortly before they were killed.
Neighbour Erik Wiltscheck told CBS News that he saw David shoot his sons, William and Nelson, in the yard with their backpacks on.
Wiltscheck said he was begging Schladetzky to stop.
“I had no doubt it was the dad when I was on the 911 [call]. I was saying, ‘The dad’s shooting his kids,’” Wiltscheck said.
I will relive this over and over and over again.
It's understood that David then went inside and shot Kjersten, before turning the gun on himself.
Neighbour Eric Stiver claimed that he saw the aftermath from his bedroom window.
“That was the hardest, seeing that, them laying out in the snow,” Stiver said.
The shooting led to a standoff with police officers and SWAT teams, lasting several hours.
Crime scene investigators and detectives were at the scene well into the night, hours after the tragic incident came to its conclusion.
Dozens of people gathered outside of the home Monday for a vigil organized by the outreach group A Mother’s Love.
Several Minneapolis Police officers attended the vigil, including Sgt. Deitan Dubuc.
“I responded [Sunday] and I was on scene for a few hours. And I have kids myself. It touched all of us,” Dubuc said.
Trying to understand how someone could kill their family members, especially kids, weighed on so many in the neighbourhood.
“That was the first thing I thought about, too,” Wilson said.
“I was like ‘Oh my God,’ I couldn’t imagine this being like one of my grandchildren or one of my children.”
A Mother’s Love organized the vigil in part to raise awareness about domestic violence issues.
“I think the most important part is for people to understand they’re not alone, and it’s important to come out and reach out for the help because we’re here,” Sgt. Dubuc said.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, dial 000.
If you need help and advice, call 1800Respect on 1800 737 732, or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
A range of domestic and family violence resources based around the country can be found here.