Falcon Heights man shoots at Roseville school, dies of self-inflicted gunshot

Two Hand in Hand Christian Montessori School employees were in the kitchen when a bullet came through the window the afternoon of Jan. 26. Neither were injured.
Two Hand in Hand Christian Montessori School employees were in the kitchen when a bullet came through the window the afternoon of Jan. 26. Neither were injured. (photo courtesy of the Roseville Police Department)

A 48-year-old Falcon Heights man died of a self-inflicted gunshot the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 26, after firing one round at the Hand in Hand Christian Montessori School on Fairview Avenue in Roseville.

According to a police statement, around 3 p.m. Jan. 26, the Roseville Police Department was notified of a gunshot damaging a kitchen window at the school, which serves preschool through eighth-grade students. The responding officer noticed a "suspicious sedan" in the north parking lot and made eye contact with the driver, and sensed "something was amiss."

The officer then made a wide turn to drive toward the suspicious vehicle. However, by the time the officer reached the vehicle, the driver, a man who has not been identified, had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Two school employees were reportedly in the kitchen when the bullet came through the window; neither were injured. No students were in the cafeteria at the time.

The man reportedly made suicidal statements to a friend earlier in the day. At the time of the incident at the school, the St. Anthony Police Department was attempting to make contact with the man at his Falcon Heights home.

"Investigators are attempting to determine why the man shot one round at the Montessori school kitchen before he took his own life," a Roseville Police statement said. "It is not uncommon for those contemplating suicide with a firearm to test fire the weapon before taking their life."

The case is still under investigation.

Community support

A letter sent to parents from Michelle Lee Thompson, the school's dean and executive director, stated the school went into "safe mode" when the shot was fired, with police responding in less than one minute after staff called 911.

"Although we are saddened by this tragic event, we are grateful that it was an isolated incident and how quickly our staff took action in a calm and professional manner," Thompson wrote. "We also are very thankful for God's protection over our kitchen staff, faculty and children."

The majority of the Hand in Hand's 248 students are dismissed at 3:15 p.m., though because students are enrolled in one-day, three-day and five-day programs, not all the students are in the building at the same time. The school leases the former Corpus Christi School space from Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

Stacy Thompson, the school's office director, said because the school's kitchen was temporarily closed following the shooting, three local Jimmy John's stores donated sandwiches and Pizza Ranch donated dessert pizzas for lunch on Jan. 27. 

"What amazing support from our local community," she said.

Johanna Holub can be reached at jholub@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813. Follow her on Twitter @jholubnews.


 


 

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