A mother who takes her toddler to a home day care in Brooklyn Park discovered three adults shot to death inside the home early Monday morning, according to law enforcement officials.
Police in Brooklyn Park, a suburb of Minneapolis, gave new details of the triple slaying during a late afternoon news conference.
Spokesman Todd Milburn says the woman dropped off her toddler and spoke with someone in the house around 6:30 a.m. As she was leaving the area, she saw a man acting suspiciously.
The woman called the day care back, and was talking to someone when the line went dead. She returned to the home and found three people had been shot. Her toddler was in the house unharmed.
"During the phone conversation, the phone went dead. The 911 caller drove back to the home where she discovered three adults had been fatally shot. The 911 caller found her toddler safe inside of the home unharmed and immediately called police," said Brooklyn Park Police Chief Michael Davis.
Police say they have made no arrests, and were searching for a suspect for most of the day.
Police would not disclose whether the child witnessed the shootings.
According to the Department of Human Services, the day care center is licensed to handle up to 12 children and is operated by DeLois Brown.
The police did not release the names of the dead, but family members identified the victims as DeLois Brown, 59, and her two parents, who lived there, but declined to give the parents' names.
Police are looking for a black male in his mid-20s. He was last seen leaving the area on a BMX bike wearing blue jeans and a navy blue sweatshirt with gray hood and a pair of 1-inch white stripes down the back.
Neighbors of the day care center said police told them to stay home because a gunman was on the loose.
A Hennepin County crime lab van was parked outside the house a few hours after the attack. Police tape was stretched around the house, a gray split-level in a modest neighborhood with children's toys in the fenced backyard. A small group of people stood in the street several houses down, sobbing and hugging each other.
Hakeem Hughes, an 18-year-old student who lives close to the day care, said he heard screaming from the direction of the house about 6:30 a.m., but that he didn't pay much attention because children often played outside the home. When he went to catch a bus to school, he said police told him to go back inside because there was a gunman on the loose.
Milburn said a suspect fled the scene on a bicycle.
"I'm just shocked about it," Hughes said. "They are good people. They are innocent people."
Nearby Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park was in lockdown from 7:45 a.m. until about 3 p.m. while police investigated the incident.
"The suspect was in the area. The Brooklyn Park police put us in lockdown," said Annette Roth, a spokeswoman for the school. "They are directing the scene at this time."
Roth said students were told by text and email not to come to campus this morning.
This map pinpoints the location of the shooting:
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)