A St. Paul man told police he "just snapped" before pulling out a gun and opening fire on his brother-in-law, niece and his two sisters who had been helping care for his ailing mother, according to criminal charges filed Monday.
Three of Patrick Thomas McHugh's relatives died, but one sister survived, pretending to be dead until the shooter left the house, according to the complaint.
McHugh, 55, was charged with three counts of intentional second-degree murder and one count of second-degree attempted murder in Friday night's killings that rattled the quiet St. Paul neighborhood where McHugh lives with his mother.
The criminal complaint doesn't list a specific motive, but it says McHugh's mother had recently suffered a stroke and the family was taking care of her in shifts.
McHugh also had been angry in the past when he wanted to refinance the house and his siblings didn't approve, and he argued with one of his sisters shortly before Friday's shootings, the document said. He also told police his brother-in-law had threatened him, the complaint said.
"I did it, I did it, I just snapped, my life's over," McHugh told police, according to the criminal complaint.
McHugh is being held in the Ramsey County Jail. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
Mary Malicki and Clyde Malicki, both 58, and Mary's daughter, Kristy Malicki, 33, died in the shootings. All three were from Cottage Grove. McHugh's other sister, Kathleen Dorgan, 56, also of Cottage Grove, was expected to survive, but was shot in the face and neck and might have permanent nerve damage, according to the complaint.
According to prosecutors, McHugh was due to come home at 7 p.m. Friday, but he called to say he had missed a bus and would catch a later one. Malicki, his sister, offered to pick him up. When she arrived, she saw him getting on a bus and called out to him.
McHugh got into her car, and after Malicki told him it was rude for him to get on a bus when he knew he had a ride on the way, he got out and slammed the door, saying: "I'm power of attorney and I'll make all the decisions," the complaint said.
Malicki went back to her mother's house without McHugh and decided to stay there with Dorgan because they didn't want to leave their mother alone with McHugh after he had been drinking, the complaint said. Prosecutors say family witnesses told police McHugh had been drinking at a bar.
Malicki's husband and daughter brought dinner to the house and were about to eat when McHugh arrived with a "wild look," the complaint said. He went into another room and turned on the TV while the others started eating in the living room.
About 10 minutes later, the complaint said, McHugh came into the living room and said: "I'm the power of attorney in this house and I want you all to leave right now." Then, according to the complaint, he said: "I'm sorry I have to do this," and he shot Clyde Malicki.
Dorgan told police she ran away while McHugh shot Mary Malicki and Kristy Malicki. The complaint said he then went looking for Dorgan, and she begged for him not to shoot her.
McHugh replied: "You shouldn't have been pushing me," then he shot her, the complaint said.
Dorgan pretended she was dead. After she heard McHugh leave, she crawled into the kitchen and called 911, the complaint said.
Officers found Dorgan in the kitchen on her hands and knees, bleeding from her head and face. She told police her brother had shot all four of them.
Mary Malicki and Kristy Malicki were both dead on the living room floor. An autopsy showed Mary Malicki died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head; Kristy Malicki was shot in the side of the head.
Clyde Malicki was found on the couch with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the left temple area of his head. He appeared to be breathing and was taken to the hospital, where he died, the complaint said.
Police also found McHugh's mother, 80-year-old Kathleen Theresa McHugh, in the house unharmed.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)