Prominent physician slain, Orono police kill suspect

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 19, 2013 - 3:51 PM

The Hennepin County sheriff remained tight-lipped on the death of Dr. Stephen L. Larson of Orono and Ted Hoffstrom, the St. Anthony man police killed in his yard.

The armed man killed by police outside a slain Orono doctor’s home was identified Sunday as Ted C. Hoffstrom.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Sunday that both Hoffstrom, 30, of St. Anthony, and Dr. Stephen L. Larson, a prominent OB-GYN physician, died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Police have released no information on a possible connection between the doctor and Hoffstrom, who was shot by officers responding to a call about trouble at Larson’s house just before 9 p.m. Friday.

Larson, 74, who founded a medical group in Burnsville and Edina, was widely known as an expert on pelvic surgery and as a medical professor.

“When Orono police officers arrived on the scene, they encountered a male in the front yard who was armed with a handgun,” the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office said in a brief news release. “Subsequently, shots were fired and the male was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Officers then went into the house and found a second man’s body, the sheriff’s office said. Relatives confirmed that it was Larson.

“Due to the limited amount that we know about what happened, I’m not sure that it’s prudent to comment on anything at this point,” son Christopher Larson said by phone Saturday afternoon, adding that he’d lost “a great dad” but knew little more.

“Basically all I know is what I read in your paper at 6:04 this morning,” he said. “We’re getting absolutely nothing out of the sheriff’s department. So I’m understandably at a loss and a little reluctant to contribute anything until I at least know what happened.”

Christopher Larson and other family members said Stephen Larson had delivered many babies over the decades.

Larson was “an amazing man,” who delivered some of his neighbors’ babies among the thousands he brought into the world, said the president of the homeowners’ association where Larson lived. He said Larson was looking forward to retirement and joining his wife, Lucinda “Cindy” Larson at their Arizona home.

In addition to treating patients, Larson taught medical students, and many of them are now in practice in the area, Stephen Larson said in a video posted by Fairview Hospitals. Larson was affiliated with Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville and Fairview Southdale in Edina.

Until 2004, he was an adjunct professor in the department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women’s Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

“For nearly 20 years, I presented surgical studies to the Society of Pelvic Reconstructive Surgeons,” he also said in the video, adding that he also served as medical director of a minimally invasive surgery center in Southdale Medical Building in Edina.

A speaker who gave numerous presentations, including internationally, he specialized in pelvic reconstructive surgery with minimally invasive techniques that use small incisions and laparoscopes.

The house where he was slain, on Heritage Lane, is a split-level overlooking Tanager Lake, with deeded access to Lake Minnetonka. The 3,795-square-foot house sits in a cul-de-sac.

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