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Lake Mtka. Community Grasps For Answers After Family Murder-Suicide

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It has been a week since police discovered a gruesome scene in Greenwood -- five members of a family dead.

South Lake Minnetonka Police say Brian Short shot and killed his wife and their three kids with a shotgun before killing himself last week.

Bill George, the former CEO of Medtronic, had been scheduled to speak at Minnetonka High School for months. But he made changes to his message Thursday.

"Life is precious," George said. "The world you can have the greatest impact on is the world right in front of you right now, and remember every interaction really counts."

Memorials now sit in the school office at Minnetonka High School, along with flowers sent from other schools. Signatures from students to honor their classmates are displayed on large cards for Cole, Maddy and Brooklyn.

"They are messages of remembrances, messages of condolence or hope. We'll take those over the funeral on Sunday," Minnetonka Schools Executive Director of Communications Janet Swiecichowski said. "It has been a really emotional week."

The TonkaStrong hashtag now serves as a sign of healing. People have displayed the words on signs around town.

A community is still struggling to understand what happened inside the Shorts' Lake Minnetonka home.

Randy Cassingham started a networking group for successful online entrepreneurs after founding Brian Short had been a member as founder of

Cassingham wrote in his blog this week about his disbelief about Short's actions. He writes that Short would talk about his humble beginnings, growing up without much money in Milwaukee. Cassingham also describes his friend as a generous "teddy bear."

"Earlier this year Brian told the group he'd been sued. The suit at least sounded frivolous: a training company complained that a forum member had given them a bad review. Federal law says that sites aren't responsible for what members post, so Brain wasn't concerned," Cassingham wrote. "He dropped off the radar: I hadn't had any e-mails from him in a few weeks."

Family friends confirm Short had been on medication for depression but declined to say more.

Police told WCCO they are still investigating the Shorts' case. The police chief of South Lake Minnetonka said they have to be sure of what they think happened before it is considered closed.

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