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Shotgun likely weapon in Lake Minnetonka murder-suicide

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Greenwood home with five dead.
The Lake Minnetonka home of Brian and Karen Short and their three children.
Courtesy KARE11 News

A shotgun recovered at the scene was likely the weapon used to kill five family members in their Lake Minnetonka home, authorities said Friday. 

Officials, however, will not say yet who pulled the trigger.

Four of the family members were found Thursday afternoon shot in their bedrooms, while the husband and father was found in the lower level garage, South Lake Minnetonka Interim Police Chief Mike Siitari told reporters.

"At this point we cannot positively say who shot whom," he said, adding the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office would answer that question. 

Siitari said officials haven't found a note that might explain what happened, and he would not discuss any possible motives. He called it a "gruesome and complex" investigation.

He also would not confirm the identities of the dead. But they are Brian Short, Karen Short, and their three teen children: Cole, Brooklyn and Madison, according to a family member.

Property records indicate Brian and Karen Short owned the home where police found the bodies. Brian Short, a former nurse, was founder of the website allnurses.com, a social network for nurses.

Shannon Krenik, 19, was a close friend of Cole Short, who was just beginning his senior year at Minnetonka High School. She said Cole and his father had a strained relationship, and often quarreled. 

She last saw Cole a few weeks ago, right before she started school at Normandale Community College. Krenik said Cole had recently told her the Short family was having financial trouble and was planning to sell their $2 million home on Lake Minnetonka.

"His dad and Cole never got along very well, and his dad had a temper too," she said. "I know they had financial problems, they were about to move."

Minnesota court records show Brian Short's only past infractions were four driving-related violations.

At the time of the killings, Short was facing a federal lawsuit from a New Jersey-based company. Achieve Test Prep alleged allnurses.com failed to delete defamatory comments from its website and was funneling business to a competitor that advertised on the site.