Deaths of 2 in SE Minn. ruled murder-suicide

  • Associated Press
  • January 7, 2014 - 5:10 PM

PINE ISLAND, Minn. — Authorities in southeastern Minnesota on Tuesday ruled the shooting deaths of an 18-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man as a murder-suicide.

The Olmsted County sheriff's office identified the victims as two college students — Kayla Jill Koranda of Rochester and Nicholas Bryan Roecker, who lived at the address where the shootings happened Monday near Pine Island.

The Rochester Post-Bulletin ( ) reports Koranda attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis while Roecker attended the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Authorities don't know the extent of their relationship but believe the two were just friends. Both graduated from Lourdes High School in Rochester in 2013.

Olmsted County Sheriff Dave Mueller said authorities responded to a "medical call" about 4:30 p.m. Monday in New Haven Township, about four miles south of Pine Island.

They arrived to find the two victims in a heated pole shed. Koranda died at the scene, and Roecker was taken to Mayo Clinic Hospitals-Rochester, where he died a short time later, Mueller said.

A handgun was found at the scene.

Mueller did not release details about a possible motive.

"A family member (of Roecker) went out to the shed and found them," Mueller said. "This is a terrible tragedy that's occurred to the members of these families."

Autopsies were performed Tuesday at Mayo Clinic. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension completed its investigation at the scene Tuesday.

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