Two people are dead in what Faribault police are calling a murder suicide.
Faribault officers were dispatched to a home in the 700 block of Third Street NW shortly after 8 p.m. Monday after a female caller reported that her boyfriend had been drinking, was throwing things around the residence and that she was unable to leave the residence, according to a release from the Faribault Police Department.
The caller also reported that her boyfriend had two guns in the home and that he might fight or flee when officers arrived.
While collecting information, the dispatcher heard the caller scream and lost contact. Calls back to the woman went unanswered.
When officers arrived, they received no response when they knocked on the door and could see overturned furniture inside the residence. The door was unlocked.
Officers entered the residence and found two people on the floor — one female and one male. Both were unresponsive.
The woman, Amanda Schroeder, 32, appeared to have suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Life-saving measures were attempted, but she was declared dead at the scene.
The man, Brandon Akermark, 27, appeared to have suffered a single gunshot to the head. He was also declared dead. A handgun was found lying next to Akermark. Officers and detectives worked through the night to process the scene.
Schroeder and Akermark’s bodies have been sent to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy.
According to a 1989-2018 report on intimate partner homicide from Violence Free Minnesota, intimate partner murder-suicides are the most common type of murder-suicide. Of the the 685 homicides recorded over the 30-year period, 258 (37%) were a murder-suicide or murder-attempted suicide with the homicide victims overwhelmingly female and the majority of perpetrators male.
Police had been called to the home previously, according to Faribault Police Capt. Neal Pederson, at least once on a domestic call.
Violence Free Minnesota’s report called intimate partner murder-suicide a “unique crime with distinct characteristics from suicide and homicide alone” and found that it’s more likely to occur when a victim is attempting to leave their abuser. Threats of suicide from the abuser reportedly doubled the risk of murder-suicide. Other precursors include child custody issues, extreme jealousy and control from the abuser, and the issuance of an order for protection.
According to Pederson, no one else was inside the home and the person living in the other half of the duplex was away when the shooting occurred.
The report found that over 12% of the adult women killed in Minnesota from 1989-2018 sought an order for protection against the current or former intimate partner who later killed them, said the report. In its 30 years of data, firearms were used in 76% of the murder-suicide cases. Nationally, the Violence Policy Center reports a firearm was used in 83% of murder-suicide cases.
“Our deepest condolences go to the family members of both Amanda and Brandon as they deal with this unspeakable tragedy,” said Police Chief Andy Bohlen.
“Initial investigation leads us to believe this incident was contained to this residence and there is no ongoing threat to the public. We encourage anyone experiencing domestic violence to reach out for help. There are several resources devoted to addressing this community epidemic. We also encourage anyone that hears neighbors involved in domestic violence to call the police immediately as it could save a life.”
Erica Staab-Absher, director of Rice County’s HOPE Center, which advocates for victims of domestic and sexual violence, underscores the chief’s reminder.
“There is help and (victims) can reach out,” she said. There are people in the community who want to help.”
But Staab-Absher also worries about the “impact on the community as a whole, friends and family, and the 911 dispatcher who was on the call.”
The investigation is active and ongoing. Assisting Faribault Police was the Rice County Sheriff’s Office, Faribault Fire Department and North Ambulance.