Gunshots in an Eden Prairie apartment early Saturday prompted police to send in a SWAT team and bomb squad robot as they investigated what they initially thought could be a standoff.

A few hours later, two people were found dead in the apartment.

In the interim, dozens of residents in the massive Eden Place apartment complex near Flying Cloud Drive were ordered to leave for more than five hours, watching the drama unfold as armed SWAT crews filtered into the building. It was Eden Prairie’s first homicide in three years.

“It’s very rare,” Lt. Greg Weber said. “It’s a tragic event.”

Police first arrived at the apartment building on the 8600 block of Magnolia Trail about 7 a.m. after a neighbor reported hearing gunshots in another second-floor unit.

Nearby, Kuland Hairaj’s ­parents heard one popping sound but couldn’t tell if it was a gunshot or just a loud game. He said they didn’t suspect anything was wrong until a police officer armed with a rifle showed up at their door and told them to quietly leave the building.

“It never happens [here],” he said of crime in the quiet apartment complex.

Police found a woman dead in the apartment, but because they couldn’t reach anyone in the unit, Weber said, they brought in a robot to check for bombs in case the suspect had barricaded himself in another room. Eden Prairie firefighters, Bloomington’s bomb squad and police from Edina, Minnetonka, Hopkins and St. Louis Park were called in to help investigate.

About noon, police confirmed that a man was also found dead in the apartment, although police declined to identify what weapons were found. After determining there was no risk to the public, residents were allowed back in.

It’s not clear if anyone else was in the apartment at the time of the deaths or if the victims were related. The deaths remain under investigation by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Eden Prairie police; the Hennepin County Medical Examiner had not identified the victims by late Saturday.


Twitter: @kellystrib