A prominent entrepreneur was found dead along with his wife and three kids inside their $2 million lakeside Minnesota home on September 10. Investigators believe the victims are Brian, 45, and Karen Short, 48, and their three high school age children, Cole, 17, Madison, 15, and Brooklyn, 14. The incident happened in the town of Greenwood, about 30 miles west of Minneapolis.
Sources have said that Brian shot all of his family members dead before committing suicide. The police are continuing to search for a motive.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Authorities Were Quick to Call the Situation a Murder-Suicide
Speaking to members of the media, South Lake Minnetonka Police Chief Mike Siitari said that officers were called to the scene on the afternoon of September 10 after a co-worker requested a welfare check because Brian and Karen hadn’t been heard from in days. Meanwhile, the children had been absent from school. When cops got to the home, on Lake Minnetonka, they found all of the family members dead. The chief was quick to assert that it had been a murder/suicide and that there was no further threat to the public.
KSTP reports the mayor of Greenwood, Debra Kind, saying that she didn’t know the family but called the situation “very upsetting.” She also said, “I hope that people who have suicidal thoughts get help, because this is a tragedy that is not necessary.” In a dark twist, the bodies were discovered on World Suicide Prevention Day. Brian Short’s sister Lori paid tribute to the family on Facebook, writing, “To all my prayer warrior friends…This is my brother and his beautiful family…all gone from this earthly life! Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers as we learn more information and deal with this tragic loss!”
2. Police Found the Bodies in Different Rooms Around the House
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, quoting police scanner traffic, that officers found the bodies in different parts of the house. “Body in the house,” says one officer, to which dispatch responds, “More than one?” “I believe so,” the officer responds. A few minutes later, the same officer tells dispatch, “Victim two found in the basement, garage, third body, basement, fourth, basement.” Quickly after that, another officer cuts in, saying, “Another victim, lower level bedroom.” Brian Short was the body in the basement. The other family members were found in their bedrooms.
A small dog was found unharmed at the scene. The Tribute reports that the home, along Channel Drive, was built in 1998 and was sold to Brian and Karen Short in September 2011 for $2 million. Zillow lists the house as having five bedrooms, three bathrooms and an eight-car garage.
3. Brian Short Owned a Social Network With Nearly 1 Million Users
Brian Short was the founder of All Nurses. He launched the company in 1995. On his business Facebook page, the company is described as a social network for nurses with more than 870,000 members who share “knowledge, laughs and support.” According to a Minneapolis Star Tribune profile done on Short in May 2014, he started the company when he was a nursing student and had just gotten his first computer. He said at the time, “Yahoo was the coolest thing out there, and the branch for nursing only had about 10 links.” Short told the paper:
I’ve been offered 50 buyouts in the last 10 years. I’ve turned them all down. I have so many ideas that I want to enable. At some point maybe I’ll sell — I have no interest in that now. I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that I’ve had an impact on nursing. It’s a very fulfilling career.
In 2012, he told Business Journal that his site boasted yearly revenue of $1 million and 3 million unique visitors per month.
On his LinkedIn page, Short described his wide-ranging role in the company: “Involved with every facet of the business, brand development, traffic, analytics, advertising revenue, marketing efforts both online and offline.” A statement on the company’s website on the day of his death read:
It is with great regret and a very heavy heart that I have to share some very sad news with you. There is no easy way to say this. We just found out this afternoon that Brian and his family have passed away. The news is calling it an apparent murder-suicide, but this has not been verified by the authorities and details have not yet been released.
No matter what the details are, the results are still the same…..a very tragic loss for the extended families, friends, co-workers, and this nursing community.
Please use this thread to post you comments of condolence and gratitude for Brian who created this wonderful nursing community that has benefitted so many.
Out of respect for Brian and his extended family with which these comments will be shared, keep your comment positive and uplifting. All inappropriate comments will be moved.
Despite his business successes, a neighbor of the family, Jodie Gorence, told CBS Minnesota, “They were never showy. They were down-to-earth people. Wealthy people who were down to earth. I hope they’re in a better place now.”
4. One Friend Said the Couple’s Daughter, Brooklyn, Would ‘Be Missed by So Many’
The couple’s daughter, Brooklyn, is being mourned by her friends on Twitter. One pal called her “such a beautiful, sweet girl,” adding, “[she] will be missed by so many.” The principal of Minnetonka High School sent out an email to parents on the day the bodies were found reading, “Our Minnetonka High School family is devastated by the tragic deaths of a family in our community. Because we are a close-knit community, this is will be very upsetting for students, parents and staff alike.”
5. The Family Had Just Returned From a Vacation in Cancun
According to her Facebook page, Karen Short is a native of Shakopee, Minnesota, and lived in Greenwood. Her maiden name was Preiss. Brian Short’s sister says on her Facebook page that she’s a native of Milwaukee. On Brian Short’s Facebook page, it shows that the family had recently returned from a vacation in Cancun, Mexico.