Man Posts Confession on Facebook, Then Kills 4 Relatives and Himself: Police

killer confesses on facebook
Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad.Facebook

Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad wrote on Facebook that he had "suffered many years of mental illness."

A Minnesota man posted a confession on Facebook and then shot to death four relatives, two of them children, before turning the gun on himself, authorities said. 

Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad, 29, wrote Wednesday, “I have made the absolutely horrid choice in not only taking my life, but the lives of my aunt … uncle … and my two sweet, beyond angelic cousins," according to the post, which was still active on Thursday.

Investigators determined the shootings were murder-suicide. 

Cole-Skogstad was experiencing a mental health episode, the Duluth Police Department said late Thursday in a statement. A family member requested a welfare check on Cole-Skogstad, saying he had threatened family members online, police said.

When officers responded to Cole-Skogstad's home in Hermantown, there was no one there, police said. The local police contacted the Duluth Police Department, and a team of officers were sent to the home of Cole-Skogstad's aunt and uncle.

"Duluth Police officers approached the home, knocked on the door and officers heard what they believed to be a single gunshot," the department's statement said.

When officers later secured entry into the home, the found the bodies of Cole-Skogstad, his uncle, Sean Christopher Barry, 47, his aunt, Riana Lou Barry, 44, Shiway Elizabeth Barry, 12, and Sadie Lucille Barry, 9, the department said. The family dog had also been killed.

“Incidents like these shake our sense of safety as a community and the region as a whole,” Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said. “In my 30 years of policing, I have never seen anything like this.

"Sometimes people forget that the officers and investigators responding to the scene have families too. This is devastating for them to respond to, to see, and to process afterwards," he said.

In his Facebook entry, Cole-Skogstad said, "I am 29 years old and have suffered many years of mental illness. I almost never sought out help because I felt I never deserved it. I wish so badly to go back and make better choices in life. Ignore the hatred thrown at me by my peers for so long.

"I wish I could have just accepted the love I was given by my family I loved so much, but couldn't express it. I wish I didn't spread my poisonous mentality onto my most cherished and beloved person ever Shiway Elizabeth Barry."

The investigation remains open, police said.

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