Victims of Highland Park gunfire, possibly linked to a financial fight, were a Cottage Grove family.
Murder charges are expected Monday against a 55-year-old man suspected of killing three relatives and wounding another during an apparent family dispute in his Highland Park neighborhood home, the St. Paul Police Department reported Sunday.
The exact motive for the triple homicide will be detailed in Monday's criminal complaint, but neighbors and investigators said over the weekend that the trigger might have been a dispute over finances. The only suspect, Patrick Thomas McHugh, was arrested Friday night shortly after the shootings.
On Sunday, St. Paul police identified those killed as Mary McHugh Malicki, 58, the suspect's sister; her husband, Clyde Malicki, 58, and their daughter, 33-year-old Kristy Malicki, all of whom lived in Cottage Grove.
Another sister of the suspect, Kathleen McHugh Dorgan, 56, was wounded by gunfire but is expected to survive, police said.
Dorgan was in stable condition Sunday night at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, said St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Pete Crum.
Patrick McHugh was living at the Munster Avenue home with his 80-year-old mother, also named Kathleen, at the time of the shooting. According to property records, he is part owner of the home, along with his mother and other relatives.
He remains in jail awaiting charges from the Ramsey County attorney's office.
"He was booked into jail for murder," Crum said. "There was a dispute with the family that led to the shooting."
McHugh does not appear to have a criminal history other than decades-old drunken driving convictions.
Recently, family matriarch Kathleen McHugh had come home from the hospital after suffering a stroke. Though she was home at the time of the shootings, she was not shot, police said.
Still unclear is whether the shootings were planned or spontaneous. Also unclear is why the relatives were gathered at the home.
Wounded sister Kathleen Dorgan and slain sister Mary Malicki lived within a couple of miles of each other in Cottage Grove. At Dorgan's split-level home on Hyde Avenue S. Sunday evening, her husband, Jim, would say only that she is recovering. "There's a ton of people coming by, and we're not saying anything," he said.
Kathleen Dorgan's adult daughter also declined to comment. But when she was asked what might have set off Patrick McHugh, a young woman standing at her side said quickly, "We don't care about Patrick McHugh."
A well-kept two-story house less than a mile away was home to Clyde and Mary Malicki for more than 30 years. There they raised a son, Barry, and daughter, Kristy. Kristy, who died with her parents, lived in a townhouse about a mile south of her parents' home.
"They were nice neighbors, that's all I can tell you," said the couple's longtime neighbor, Ron Olson. Olson said the Malickis got along well with everyone in the neighborhood and had never mentioned any family problems.
Crum said he did not know where the victims were shot or the sequence of events in the home during the shootings.
The triple homicide on Munster Avenue, which is in a generally quiet neighborhood just off W. 7th Street near the southwestern tip of St. Paul, was the city's first triple homicide since 2007. That year, Maria McLay, 32, her boyfriend, Otahl Saunders, 31, and her 15-year-old daughter, Brittany Kekedakis, were fatally shot in their home on the city's North End. Earlier this year, two men looking for drugs and money were charged in those deaths.
The latest deaths bring St. Paul's 2010 homicide toll to 12.