Shotgun bought days before Greenwood, Minn. family found dead

A search warrant filed in Hennepin County said a shotgun was purchased at Gander Mountain days before a family of 5 was found dead in their Greenwood, Minn. home -- the father having shot his wife and children, and then himself.

Inside Brian Short’s home, Hennepin County sheriff’s officials found a Remington 12-gauge shotgun and paperwork accompanying the purchase made Sunday, Sept. 6 from Gander Mountain in Eden Prairie. Police found the family dead on Thursday, Sept. 10. South Lake Minnetonka police said the killings were estimated to have occurred late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

A search warrant filed on Sept. 11 at Gander Mountain on 12160 Technology Drive said detectives took documents and video footage. A second warrant filed on Sept. 21 detailed an inspection of Short's office headquarters on 261 School Avenue in Excelsior, where he ran his website, The company's business manager, who had access to Short's email, requested a welfare check, after seeing a message in his email account indicating his children had missed the first two days of school. She had talked to Short on Friday, Sept. 4, when he told her he didn't have any weekend plans.

"This employee was aware that Short was stressed because his business was not going well," the search warrant said.

Short, 45, was found dead in the garage, the shotgun and owner's manual nearby, and his wife Karen, 48, was found between the master bedroom and bathroom. Their three children, Cole, 17, Madison, 15, and Brooklyn, 14, were each found dead in separate beds, the search warrant said.

The business manager, Brenda Mae Senden, told police she has complete access to Short’s accounts, files, passwords and his family’s Verizon account, and said she observed “a clear cut off point, where there was no further activity on any of the family members’ mobile devices," according to the warrant.

Fox 9’s Paul Blume spoke to the new South Lake Minnetonka Police Chief on Monday, who lamented the lack of a clear motive. No suicide note was found.

Short had been depressed, was on medication, and his business was facing a lawsuit in federal court. That lawsuit is moving forward despite his death, and was just transferred today from New Jersey to Minnesota.