Police: Man shot brother, himself on New Year's Day in White Bear Township

Image 1 of 3

Courtesy: The Klimek Family

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Friday that the two men found dead in a White Bear Township home on New Year’s Day were a result of a murder-suicide between two brothers.

A BCA investigation into the incident showed that 56-year-old Leon Klimek of White Bear Township shot and killed his brother, 54-year-old Lawrence Klimek of Robbinsdale, at a New Year’s potluck gathering.

After the shots were fired, the family fled the residence and Leon Klimek was later found dead in the basement of the home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The incident occurred at around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday on the 5400 block of Centerville Road. Ramsey County deputies and Ramsey County SWAT were called to assist in the scene.

The incident is still under investigation by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office and the Ramsey County Medical Examiner will investigate the deaths.

The Klimek family released a statement about the death of Larry and Lee Klimek Friday evening:

It is our hope that through this tragedy, we can help people open up a conversation about mental illness. 

Lee Klimek was formally diagnosed with manic depression about 10 years ago, and had refused to receive any medical treatment or family support ever since. Over time Lee also began developing severe paranoia, in which he believed people were watching and following him. He did legally own his firearms, and was an avid outdoorsman. 

While we are unsure of the final reason behind the incident, we want to remind everyone to watch loved ones mental health. If you or a loved one is suffering with mental health issues please get help. Please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.