Man shot and killed wife in Meeker Co. home while children were inside: Charges

A man is facing felony charges after he allegedly shot and killed his wife during an argument while their two children were home. 

Meeker County prosecutors charged 35-year-old Bryan Demarais on Tuesday with second-degree murder and two counts of child endangerment for allegedly shooting his wife at their home in Dassell, Minnesota. 

"I would like to report a murder," Demarais allegedly told the dispatcher on the morning of Dec. 28, 2023. Demarais claimed he had repeatedly shot his wife and his two children were still in the house. 

Law enforcement responded to the scene, removed the two children through a bedroom window, and arrested Demarais. Prosecutors say authorities began their search of the house and found a woman lying on the living room floor with an apparent gunshot wound to the head, charges explained. Kayla Demarais, 29, was pronounced dead at the scene.

During an interview with investigators, Demarais claimed the night before the shooting, he and his wife had been arguing about financial problems and ongoing marital issues, charges said. They argued again in the morning, and he allegedly told their children they were getting a divorce and then headed to work. 

However, Demarais was sent home early after allegedly telling his supervisor the marriage was over, and he didn’t know if he could work that day. 

Once he arrived at the house, the pair allegedly got into another argument, charges detail. The children told investigators they could see their mother in the living room and heard a gunshot, and she yelled for them to call 911. Charges allege Demarais told them not to call, and the children closed the door and heard multiple gunshots while in the bedroom.  

Authorities found multiple firearm casings in the living room and a fresh bullet hole in the daughter’s bedroom. Demarais claims there were two firearms kept in the home, according to the complaint. 

Demarais remains in custody at Meeker County Jail and made his first court appearance on Tuesday. 

If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit the hotline’s website to chat with an expert.