Deaths are called the “greatest tragedy that can happen to anybody’s family.”
An apparent murder-suicide in Brooklyn Center during the early hours of Christmas morning has left a family "just devastated," a victim advocate said Tuesday.
Police in Brooklyn Center said they found two people dead in a home in the 7000 block of Morgan Av. N. at about 1:45 a.m.
Police haven't released the victim's identities or many details, but police said the public is not in danger.
Michael Jones, director of the Minnesota Parent-Child Advocacy Center based in Minneapolis, said the incident involved a married couple, Andrew Lee Wells and Jacqueline Wells.
"This is the greatest tragedy that can happen to anybody's family," he said. "It doesn't get anymore personal than this."
Jones said he was with Wells' mother at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office when she learned he had died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He said Jacqueline Wells also died of a gunshot wound.
Jones said he did not know what led to the incident.
Public records show that Andrew Wells, 42, had been convicted in 2005 of first-degree assault. He also had been sentenced in Hennepin County for first-degree assault in 1995.
Jacqueline Wells, 33, had four teenage children from a previous relationship, but it did not appear that any of the children were hurt, Jones said.
Jones said the children were not home during the incident, but one or more of the children came home to discover the bodies.
He said he did not know the whereabouts of the children at this time, but believed they were with relatives.
A neighbor, Stephanie High, said the entire neighborhood was stunned by the incident.
"They were wonderful people," she said. "They always waved 'hi' and 'bye,' and sat out on their front steps."
High said the couple moved to the neighborhood just last summer, but were eager to pitch in for the National Night Out block party near the end of summer.
"They were very sociable," she said. "Very generous."
Speaking on behalf of Andrew Wells' mother and uncle, Jones said, "They are just devastated by the events that took place. They want the community's prayers and support for the children, and that's the focus of their concern at this point. They can recover from this, but it's going to be a long and painful deal."
Courtney Blanchard • 612-673-4921