Cloquet motel shooting: Gunman didn't know 2 people he killed, was on meth, police say

The gunman accused of killing two people at a Cloquet Super 8 Motel was on meth at the time of the shooting and did not know the victims, authorities said Monday.

The Cloquet Police Department provided a "final" update on the Jan. 8, 2024, shooting in which the gunman, Nicholas Elliot Lenius, 32, of Ramsey, Minnesota, fatally shot hotel clerk Shelby Marie Trettel, 22, of Cloquet, and then Patrick Jeffrey Roers, 35, of Deer River, before turning the gun on himself. 

"After examining four of the suspect's electronic devices, we did not uncover any evidence or information indicating that the suspect had any prior knowledge of or communication with either of the victims involved in the incident," the Cloquet Police Department said. 

Meanwhile, the toxicology report from the medical examiner revealed the suspect had methamphetamine in his blood, suggesting "possible impairment" at the time of the shooting. During the investigation, police say they discovered the suspect had contacted a coworker and referenced dealing with "monsters."

"We assessed that the victims were unknown to the suspect based on the gathered information. Furthermore, the suspect may have been experiencing a mental health episode, potentially compounded by the influence of drugs," the police department said.

Authorities noted they analyzed "all available information" about the shooting, noting it "encompassed interviews, analysis of cell phone data, and a review of the toxicology reports provided by the medical examiner."

The Cloquet Police Department is sending its final reports to the Carlton County Attorney's Office for review.