Updated: Victims, alleged shooter identified in Brookston area deaths
October 15, 2021
A man suspected of killing two other men shot and killed himself early Saturday morning after a short pursuit by law enforcement in St. Louis County west of Cloquet.
According to a press release from the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, the man -- identified as Cody Pirila, 31 -- confessed to the murders to a 911 dispatcher while he was being pursued by a state trooper and indicated he wanted to kill himself. The two victims were identified by law enforcement Sunday as Skylar Hunter, 31, and his father, Jamie Hunter, 51.
Authorities were first notified when a man called 911 about 1 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 16. asking for officers to check on his adult son, who lived on Eklund Road north of Brookston in St. Louis County. Pirila and Skylar Hunter were roommates at the Eklund Road house.
According to the press release, the unidentified caller then went to the house. Arriving before the deputies, he found a dead man outside the residence. When authorities arrived, they found another man also dead outside the house.
While information was being gathered and additional resources were responding, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper observed a vehicle moving a few miles away from the scene. The trooper tried to perform a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle fled from the trooper and a short pursuit ensued. While the pursuit was underway, the lone male driver -- Pirila -- was determined to be the homicide suspect. During the pursuit he called 911 and confessed to the murders, also indicating he wanted to kill himself.
A Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) was utilized and the vehicle skidded into the ditch near Big Lake Road and Twin Lakes Drive.
When the vehicle came to rest, Pirila shot himself (within the vehicle). He died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Sheriffs Office is not seeking any additional suspects, and there is believed to be no further threat to the public. Anyone with information regarding the investigation is asked to call 911 or the SLC Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division at 218-336-4350
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and their Crime Scene Team is assisting the Sheriff’s Office with this investigation. The following agencies also assisted: the Fond du Lac Police Department, the Cloquet Police Department, the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Minnesota State Patrol.