FARIBAULT, Minn. (KMSP) - A former Faribault police officer killed his ex-wife at Faribault's Chamber of Commerce, then himself, just days after being served a restraining order, according to police.
Officers said around 12:15 p.m., a person came into the Chamber on the 500 block of Wilson Avenue and found the bodies of a man and a woman on the floor behind a desk.
Officials identified the two as 61-year-old Richard Larson and 59-year-old Barbara Larson both of Faribault. Early investigation reveals Richard shot and killed Barbara before he killed himself.
Barbara Larson worked at the Chamber of Commerce and Richard Larson retired from the Faribault Police Department in 2008. The couple divorced in 2014.
“Being such a small community, Faribault PD has worked with both in the past. Our collective hearts are broken after responding to such a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with all families involved,” said Chief
Andy Bohlen in a statement.
Police said the two had suffered gunshot wounds, and a hand gun was found beside them.
According to Captain Neal Pederson, Barbara Larson filed a restraining order against Richard Larson, which had been served to him earlier this week.
No other Chamber employees were present or injured.
"We've been out all afternoon talking to family members and friends trying to gather more information about what's been going on with these two people so we can establish a motive to what happened," said Capt. Pederson.
A statement was released on Saturday on behalf of Jason Larson and Erik Larson and his wife Sara, regarding the passing of their parents:
“Obviously, this is an overwhelming tragedy for our family and we respectfully ask for privacy in order to grieve, especially over the holiday season. We appreciate the prayers and words of support received from friends and family, and the broader community.
We encourage anyone feeling depressed or hopeless to reach out and connect with someone during this Christmas season and throughout the year. Veterans such as our father are particularly in need of support and attention when times get tough. Your friends and family are there to help, and so are organizations like the Hope Center here in Faribault.
Faribault Mayor John Jasinski (507) 291-1341 and Mayor-elect Kevin Voracek (507) 291-1121 will be speaking on behalf of our family so please direct any further questions to them. Thank you.”
Also, the Chamber released the following statement:
"The Staff, Board of Directors and members of the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism join the family and friends of Barb Larson in shock and grief over this tragic loss.
Barb worked for the chamber for over 10 years and was a friendly gregarious co-worker who everyone loved to be around.
She will be missed forever by all who knew her.
If you suspect someone is in need of intervention do something, tell someone.
The Chamber office will be closed next week and reopen on January 3, 2017.
Please respect Barb’s family, friends, and co-workers during this difficult time."