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Sheriff Offers More Details in Murder of Orono Doctor

Updated: 11/19/2013 6:38 AM
Created: 11/18/2013 2:19 PM KSTP.com
By: Leslie Dyste

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek held a news conference Monday on the murder of a well-liked Orono doctor saying, "It's obvious what happened in this case, but the questions remain about why this happened."

Sheriff Rich Stanek confirmed 74-year-old Dr. Stephen Larson provided "professional medical care" to the suspected shooter's mother at one point in time. He added that Larson's murder was not a random act.

A source told KSTP's Tim Sherno Sunday that Larson was present at the delivery of suspected shooter, 30-year-old Ted Hoffstrom of St. Anthony, when he was born. 

"The suspect had recently expressed hostility to his family members regarding Dr. Larson," said Stanek.

Larson was fatally shot at his Orono home Friday and Hoffstrom was fatally shot in the doctor's front yard.

Stanek said the gun possessed by Hoffstrom was the gun that was used to kill Larson. Hoffstrom is the only suspect in the case.

Sources tell KSTP that Hoffstrom arrived at Larson's door as Larson was on the phone. The person on the other end of the phone heard gunshots and called police. Stanek confirms Larson was home alone at the time of his murder.

Larson's body was found by police as they responded to a welfare check at his home, located on the 1000 block of Heritage Lane in Orono.

The medical examiner says Larson was dead at 8:55 p.m. He died of multiple gunshot wounds.

When police arrived at the home, they found Hoffstrom out in the yard. Police fired shots, and Hoffstrom was killed.

It's unclear if Hoffstrom fired shots in an exchange with police. No officers were injured in the shooting.

Authorities say all of the officers involved are on paid administrative leave.

Sunday afternoon, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled Larson's death a homicide. He died of multiple gunshot wounds.

According to the medical examiner's report, Hoffstrom was pronounced dead at the scene. He died of multiple gunshot wounds at 9:09 p.m.

Hoffstrom's family posted the following statement on the door of their home:

"It is with great sadness that we extend our heartfelt prayers and sympathy to the family of Dr. Stephen Larson. Our hearts are broken for all of those affected by this tragic event. We are shocked and saddened by this news, and many questions remain unanswered. We hope that the public will understand this is a very difficult time for our family. We are grieving the loss of our son, and ask that you please respect our privacy at this time."

The St. Anthony-New Brighton School District released the following statement:

"The St. Anthony-New Brighton School District community is shocked and saddened by the death of Ted Hoffstrom. A 2002 graduate of St. Anthony Village High School, Principal Wayne Terry has fond recollections of Ted as a student. As his former biology teacher, Terry said, 'I enjoyed having Ted in class.' Staff at St. Anthony Village High School remember Ted as a friendly, polite, respectful student who had lots of friends. Hoffstrom attended Kindergarten through 12th grade in St. Anthony-New Brighton School District."

Larson was a longtime physician at OBGYN Specialists in Edina and Burnsville and a father of four.

Click here to watch our previous coverage on this case.


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