The pop, pop, pop of rapid gunfire shattered the Saturday morning quiet at an Apple Valley apartment complex, and ended with two people dead.

Police said a man and a woman were found shot to death in the parking lot of South Cedar Knolls apartment complex at 12790 Germane Av.

When officers responded to a report of shots being fired around 8:30 a.m., they found the two, both 41, nonresponsive and with gunshot wounds. They died at the scene. A weapon was found near the bodies.

Police said that they don't think other people were involved in the shooting or that there is any threat to the public, language that often indicates that the investigation may lead to the conclusion that the deaths were a murder-suicide.

The identities of the victims weren't released, but police said the woman lived at the apartment complex and the man lived in Dakota County. The woman's two children are safe.

Sheri Volker, who lives in the building, said she heard a woman scream before there were about five or six pops in a row. Her son, who was in the living room, told her he thought he heard fireworks.

But after she heard two more shots, she went to a window. That's when she spotted the two victims on the ground in between two cars.

In another apartment, Eirene Ramirez was in the bathroom blow-drying her hair when her 10-year-old son Bethuel shouted to her.

"My son heard a woman screaming, then pop, pop, pop, pop," she said.

Police cordoned off much of the parking lot throughout the day.

One resident, who declined to give his name, said he was thinking of moving out because of ongoing noise and safety concerns.

But Ramirez said the complex has been a quiet, safe place during the eight years she's been living there. Police assured her that the threat was over, she added.

The bodies were taken to the Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office. • 612-673-7090 • 612-673-4495