St. Paul police: Man, woman dead in apparent murder-suicide; 1 of 5 children inside called 911
St. Paul police and the Ramsey County medical examiner have identified the man and woman who died in an apparent murder-suicide Tuesday night.
Officers received a 911 call from a child at a home along the 2000 block of California Avenue East in the city’s Greater East Side.
When officers went to the home at about 9:15 p.m., they found the man and woman with apparent gunshot wounds. Both died at the scene, police said.
In an update Wednesday afternoon, St. Paul police reported the Ramsey County medical examiner identified the man as 33-year-old Yia Xiong and the woman as 30-year-old Ka Lor.
St. Paul police stated a preliminary investigation indicated Xiong allegedly shot Lor, before he shot himself.
The St. Paul Police Department’s forensic unit was able to recover a weapon from the scene and is continuing to process evidence.
St. Paul police said Xiong and Lor are parents to five children, ages 2-9, who were present in the home at the time of the incident. Police said the children are safe and in the care of family.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS spoke with a neighbor, who did not want to be identified out of respect for the family.
She said the children all ran over to her home shortly after the shooting.
“They just came in and said they think their dad shot their mom,” the neighbor said. “I was shocked but I had to make a quick decision because it could’ve been a dangerous situation.”
She said she ushered the children into her home as the oldest sibling, a nine-year-old boy, was on the phone with dispatchers.
“He did a really mature thing for his age. It’s just really incredible what he did. He told his siblings to come out,” the neighbor said.
The neighbor said the family is Hmong and had moved into the home a year or two ago.
The children received resource referrals from the Homicide Unit to programs such as St. Paul Survivor Resources and the Midwest Children’s Resource Center.
“It’s sad just to see the kids, losing their parents. I can’t really imagine it. Just seeing them yesterday, reality hasn’t hit them yet,” the neighbor said.
The department said it isn’t seeking any suspects at this time and said the incident remains under investigation.
Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com for updates on this developing news. Refresh your page to make sure you are seeing the most current information.
Here is a list of suicide prevention and mental health resources:
- U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Minnesota Department of Health’s Suicide Prevention Program
- Minnesota Department of Human Service’s adult mental health resources
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Minnesota
- Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, Press 1
- Minnesota Farm and Rural Mental Health Helpline at 833-600-2670, ext. 1
- Crisis Phone Line – In the Twin Cities metro area, call **CRISIS (**274747) from a cellphone to talk to a team of professionals who can help.
- Crisis Text Line – Text MN to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.
If you believe someone is at risk of suicide, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests you:
- Ask questions about whether the individual is having suicidal thoughts.
- Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Seek help from a medical or mental health professional. If it is an emergency situation, take the person to a hospital.
- Remove any objects from a person’s home that could be potentially used in a suicide.
- Do not leave the person alone, if possible, until help is available.
The U.S. National Suicide Prevention organization has also compiled a list of resources to help with coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.