Kjersten Ellingson Schladetzky was a Minnesota woman who was shot and killed along with her two young sons by her ex-husband in a tragic Minneapolis triple murder-suicide on Sunday, December 1. Schladetzky was fatally shot alongside her sons William, 11, and Nelson, 8, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Her ex-husband, David Schladetzky, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Kjersten Schladetzky was a 39-year-old mother who worked at an information technology company. She and her 53-year-old ex-husband were divorced in June 2019.
The Minneapolis Police Department responded to Kjersten Schladetzky’s home for a report of shots fired about 10 a.m. on Sunday. Responding officers found the two boys dead in the front yard of the home and heard gunshots coming from inside the house, police said at a press conference. The officers were able to get the boys’ bodies out of the yard, but did not enter the home. Officers were unsure if there was a hostage or barricade situation inside the house and remained outside for several hours. Police later entered the home about 3:30 p.m. and found Kjersten and Dave Schladetzky dead.
Erik Wiltscheck, a neighbor, told the Star Tribune he helped Kjersten Schladetzky shovel her driveway Sunday morning, just hours before she and her sons were shot dead by her ex-husband. He said he was walking home from the store when the shooting happened. He said he saw the boys running with coats and backpacks on.
“I thought it was a game…All of a sudden, the gunshots started ringing out,” he told the newspaper.
Police said it was a harrowing scene. The first officers on the scene heard gunfire inside the house and, “putting themselves in harm’s way, ran into the line of possible gunfire to grab the two children, loaded them into a squad car and drove them to safety. Both children, unfortunately, have died,” police spokesman John Elder told reporters.
Elder told reporters, “It is exceptionally difficult for our officers to see and deal with what they deal with on an, unfortunately, regular basis. For any person, whether you are a police officer, firefighter, first responder, if you are a human being, who has held a child that is in critical injured or had a child die in your arms — that is something that lives with you forever.”
Kjersten Schladetzky Was a Minnesota Native Who Graduated From Maple Grove Senior High School & the University of Saint Thomas
Kjersten Schladetzky was a native of Plymouth, Minnesota, according to her Facebook page. She graduated from Maple Grove High School in 1998.
After high school, Schladetzky studied for two years at New York University. She then graduated from the University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota in 2002 with a degree in business management, according to her Linkedin profile.
On Twitter, Schladetzky described herself in her bio as a, “Culture, eco, and techno geek.”
She Worked Implementations Director at Tessitura Network
Kjersten Schladetzky was the director of implementations at Tessitura Network, according to her Linkedin profile. She spent most of her career working in information technology, mainly with zoos, museums and theaters implementing ticketing technology.
She wrote on Linkedin, “Experienced Director Of Implementation with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Business Process, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Interdepartmental Liaison, and Public Speaking. Strong operations professional with a Bachelor of Science focused in Business Management from University of Saint Thomas.”
Schladetzky worked at the Hennepin Theatre Trust from 2001 to 2006 as box office manager. She met David Schladetzky while working there, a former co-worker told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. From 2006 to 2012 she worked at the Science Museum of Minnesota. She was the box office manager and then a project manaegr there.
From 2012 to 2013 she worked at Surescripts as a project coordinator and then worked at the American Museum of Natural History as a program manager from 2013 to 2015. She started working at Tessitura in 2015.
She & Her Husband Began Divorce Proceedings in November 2018
Kjersten Ellingson Schladetzky and David Schladetzky began divorce proceedings in November 2018, according to Hennepin County family court records. There divorce was finalized on June 20, 2019.
Police said they had never been called to the Schladetzky’s home before on domestic violence or any other emergency calls. The home is listed in Hennepin County property records as being owned by Kjersten Schladetzky. It was purchased in 2007 by David Schladetzky. Ownership of the home was transferred to his ex-wife when their divorce was finalized, records show. Public records do not show contentious proceedings.
According to the Star Tribune, Kjersten Schladetzky was earning $120,000 a year, while her ex-husband was a stay-at-home dad. He was receiving spousal and child support from his ex-wife, the newspaper reports. They had joint custody of the boys and David Schladetzky moved into an apartment while working part-time in catering, according to the Star Tribune.
The couple had married in 2006.
Kjersten Schladetzky Posted a Photo With Her Sons Just Hours Before They Were Killed
Kjersten Schladetzky posted a photo with her sons, William and Nelson, Saturday night. just hours before they were killed. Her Facebook page is filled with pictures of her with her boys.
Erik Wiltscheck, their neighbor, told the Star Tribune, the boys were “full of life” and “just dynamite kids.” Of their mother, he said she was a good mom and “she was number one” for her boys. “If I had the chance, I would have traded my life for those kids. I just can’t make sense of this,” Wiltscheck told the newspaper.
A friend from a parenting group wrote on Facebook, “I am sickened and saddened and shocked and mad. Rest In Peace, sweet mama. You and your amazing sons didn’t deserve this.”
A co-worker wrote on Facebook, “We are broken. Kjersten was so full of life, and she loved those boys without limit. It was so great to get parenting tips from her. … My heart is so heavy, and I’m not exactly sure what to do. I think we just feel like the world is out of place today. Please hug your own little ones tight, and keep Kjersten, her boys, her family and friends, and her Tessitura family in your thoughts.”
Tessitura Network provides software services to museums, galleries and other institutions. Tessitura CEO Jack Rubin told WCCO-TV, “We are completely shocked, stunned and saddened. Kjersten was a kind and thoughtful colleague, a mentor to many. So well respected and valued across the company. Our thoughts are with her family.”
Police spokesman John Elder told reporters, “There’s no way someone can come up with a good explanation for this. This is horrific. This is a tragedy.”
“My heart, and the hearts of the Minneapolis Police Department, goes out to our victims and our victims’ family members,” Minneapolis Chief Medaria Arradondo said in a statement. “Any time we lose our community members, and particularly our children, to such violence, it makes us all feel very horrible and today is a very sad day for our city.”