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Police confirm two victims and shooter dead in Cloquet

After responding to a shooting, then issuing and later lifting an order to shelter-in-place, the Cloquet Police Department confirmed that a man killed two people at the Super 8 in Cloquet before taking his own life.

According to a Cloquet Police Department news release, an employee of the Super 8 hotel in Cloquet called 911 at approximately 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8, to report they'd found another hotel employee who looked like she'd been attacked.

Cloquet police responded and found a 22-year-old female with a gunshot wound. She was transported to St. Luke's Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

As officers investigated, they found a 35-year-old male victim in a car in the hotel parking lot. The man was deceased from a gunshot wound.

Police issued an online warning to residents of Big Lake Road and Highway 33 area just after 7 p.m. Monday to remain home, lock doors and shelter in place as there was an active shooter incident in progress with the suspect still at large.

They later found a 32-year-old male outside on the hotel property who was deceased from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A firearm was located next to him. Officers reviewed surveillance video from the hotel and confirmed that this deceased male was the suspect.

In addition to the Cloquet Police department, law enforcement and emergency responders from Cloquet Area Fire District, Carlton County Sheriff's Office, St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Fond Du Lac Police, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Minnesota Homeland Security Emergency Management and Mayo Ambulance responded Monday, turning the parking lot outside the hotel and the nearby Aldi store into a sea of flashing lights. Another 15-20 officers gathered at a command center outside the L&M Fleet Farm store a few blocks away, where they prepared for the worst while tracking live video from the scene.

At 8:30 p.m. Sgt. Wade Rasch of the St. Louis County Sheriff’s office dismissed the officers at L&M and headed for home with the command center trailer and a massive armored vehicle.

Rasch said people could expect to see a heavy police presence at the Super 8 area for much of the night.

Identities of the three deceased are not yet being released pending notification of family.

There is no information yet on a motive for the shootings or if there was any connection between the suspect and either of the victims. Crime scene investigators are actively processing the scene. Police are confident there is no further threat to the public and plan to hold a press conference Tuesday.