Crime, Law and Justice

Cloquet police say suspected gunman, 2 others dead after 'active shooter' report

A view of a Super 8 motel with police vehicles outside.
Cloquet area law enforcement and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension secure the scene Tuesday morning after an active shooter incident that left the suspect and two dead Monday evening along Big Lake Road and Minnesota Highway 33 near the Super 8 motel in Cloquet.
Erica Dischino for MPR News

Updated: Jan. 9, 4:45 a.m.

Authorities in Cloquet say three people are dead after a report of an active shooter that put the area around a Super 8 motel on a shelter-in-place order on Monday evening.

Police said footage from the motel’s surveillance cameras indicates that one of the three people found dead killed the other two. They said they don’t believe there is an ongoing threat to the public.

Investigators and crime scene personnel continued to work at the scene on the city’s south side late Monday night. Authorities plan to release more information at a Tuesday morning news conference in Cloquet.

A news release posted to the Cloquet Police Department’s Facebook page said a motel employee called 911 at 6:30 p.m. Monday to say it appeared that another employee had been attacked. Police found a 22-year-old woman with an apparent gunshot wound. She later died at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth.

Police then found a 35-year-old man dead from a gunshot wound in a car in the hotel’s parking lot.

Investigators later discovered a 32-year-old man “outside on the hotel property who was deceased from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A firearm was located next to him,” according to the statement.

Cloquet police said they are awaiting notification of next of kin before releasing the names of the deceased. They said Monday night that they did not yet know a motive or how the three people were connected to each other.

Earlier in the evening, police told residents in the area of the motel, near the intersection of Big Lake Road and Highway 33 on the city’s south side, to shelter in place due to an active shooter, and told others to stay out of the area.

At around 8 p.m., Cloquet police said the area was “secured.” About 30 minutes later, police lifted the shelter-in-place order.

The Super 8 motel is located just uphill from Highway 33, a busy road and the city’s main commercial strip. It’s adjacent to an AmericInn motel, an Aldi grocery store and a Perkins restaurant, as well as residential neighborhoods on two sides.

Gov. Tim Walz issued a statement on social media Monday night, saying he is “praying for those killed in another senseless act of gun violence tonight in Cloquet. To the law enforcement officers who responded, thank you. The state stands ready to provide continued support to local authorities.”

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