Police Push Ahead with Greenwood Family Murder-Suicide Investigation

August 01, 2019 11:50 AM

Minnetonka High School is making counseling available for students who may be struggling with the deaths of three classmates.
The three teens were among five Greenwood family members killed in what police call an apparent murder-suicide.

The bodies of Brian Short, his wife, Karen, and their three kids, Cole, Brooklyn and Madison were found about noon Thursday when police went to their home on the southern part of Lake Minnetonka for a welfare check. Brian Short's business,, posted a notice Thursday identifying the Short family as those who were found dead. Police haven't identified the victims.


In a letter to parents, Principal Jeffrey Erickson says the school community is devastated. He says guidance will be available for walk-ins or small-group counseling Friday.
Erickson tells parents it's important to remember that teens will respond to what happened in a variety of ways. He says some may wait a while before wanting to talk, or may need to be asked about the situation before talking. And he says some may not need to discuss it at all. He says parents who have questions or need additional support can contact the guidance office.

In memory of the three teens, some students will be wearing orange Friday. On Twitter, people have been using #tonkastrong to express their grief and shock, share memories and offer condolences.

Investigation Could Take Days

Police are only beginning what they expect could be a days-long investigation. Neither the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department nor the Hennepin County sheriff's office had released much fresh information by Friday afternoon, so it remained unclear how or when the family members died, who killed them, or why. Interim Police Chief Mike Siitari planned to release a statement later Friday, the department said.

South Lake Minnetonka Police were called to the home on the 20000 block of Channel Drive in Greenwood at 12:21 p.m. Thursday. It's just off St. Albans Bay.

Sources tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the bodies of the deceased were found scattered in various rooms throughout the house.

Brian Short had been a cardiac nurse and went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He started a networking website for nurses called, based in Excelsior.

Community in Shock

Neighbors tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they adored the Shorts for their fun parties, cookouts and boating adventures. 

"I can't believe it, this is something that's incomprehensible. We don't know the details, but a family of five is gone and it's all incomprehensible to me," Jodie Gorence said.

Dave Smits has known the Shorts for 14 years. Their family recently went to Canterbury Park with them. And their daughters are best friends.

"I texted him on Sunday. Normally he responds right away, and I got no response. It bugs me, even when he didn't respond the next day, to think that's why possibly. I can't believe it," Smits said.

Greenwood is a tiny village of just a few hundred people about 20 miles west of Minneapolis.

Greenwood Mayor Debra Kind said she did not know the family but called it "very upsetting news."

While the family lived on Lake Minnetonka, they spent the decade before in Lakeville, according to property tax records.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

See how people are responding to the deaths via social media below;

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