Father and son killed in suspected murder-suicide well-remembered as musicians

As police work to piece together what happened leading up to a suspected murder-suicide that left three men dead in a truck in a Bloomington parking lot Wednesday night, friends and family began to share stories of the two identified decedents whose deaths were ruled homicides: father and son, Dale Dahmen, 55, and Dominick Dahmen, 25.

Many who knew Dale Dahmen, knew him as a musician who played together with his two sons in local band ‘Dale Dahmen & The Beats.’

Chuck Thiel, a fellow polka-style musician and concertina player known for his band the ‘Jolly Ramblers,’ said he’d guess he’s known Dale Dahmen for 30 years.

“Dale is very talented. He worked hard on the concertina, played it extremely well. He had a good band. And like I say, he worked hard at it,” Thiel shared. “I just saw a video on Facebook this morning that he had just been at the Concertina Jamboree in Blaine this past weekend.”

With the concertina in common, Thiel and Dahman crossed paths for years, playing one after the other at polka festivals across the state.

“He played better than I did,” Thiel said breaking a smile. “Dale actually played for my son Jason and Mary, his wife’s, wedding in 2007.”

Thiel didn’t meet Dahmen’s sons. One of them, Dominick, who played with his father, was found dead with Dale Dahmen Wednesday night. Both died from gunshot wounds, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner revealed Friday. Their deaths were ruled homicides.

“Pretty shocking,” Thiel reacted Saturday to the news. “My cell phone beeped last night about one o’clock, and it was Jason sending me a message. And I didn’t bother with it until I got up this morning. And there it was.”

The news then came pouring in from several sources, including messages from other friends in the musician community and in the headlines.

Thiel and his son Jason Thiel also play together and have for years, a parallel that’s kept the Thiels and Dahmens close, but made digesting the news of the father and son’s death that much tougher.

“And there’s another part of it that hurts too,” he began. “The fact that his son, one of the two boys in the band, was with him. Jason has been with me in my band for since he was eight, so 34 years, and now Jason’s three sons, my grandsons, are also playing in our band. So when it’s family, that’s pretty close.”

“I can’t fathom what happened. I really can’t. It’s a complete shock to the family. He had a lot of musician friends that, it shocks the community,” Thiel added.

The Dahmens are from Buffalo, about 40 miles northwest of where police found their bodies in Bloomington Wednesday.

Authorities Saturday did not identify the third man who died in the suspected murder-suicide, nor did police respond to additional questions about how he may have known Dale and Dominick Dahmen.

Police only said earlier in the week that he was a business associate and the three “appeared to have some business financial dealings.”

The investigation is ongoing, but police said they are not looking for additional suspects.