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Police find evidence of drugs, mental health issues for Super 8 shooter

On Monday, March 4, the Cloquet Police Department issued a final report on their investigation into the shooting at the Super 8 hotel in Cloquet on Jan. 9 that left two victims and the shooter dead, revealing that the shooter had taken drugs but likely didn't know his two victims.

Police were called to the Super 8 hotel in Cloquet just after 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 8. A hotel employee, 22-year-old Shellby Marie Trettel of Cloquet, was found with a gunshot wound to the head inside the building. She later died at a Duluth hospital. A second victim, 35-year-old Patrick Jeffery Roers of Deer River, was found dead in a vehicle in the parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds.

The suspect, 32-year-old Nicholas Elliot Lenius of Ramsey, was found outside with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound and a weapon near his body.

According to the news release, Cloquet police say toxicology reports reveal the presence of methamphetamine in the suspect's blood, suggesting possible impairment at the time of the incident. During the interviews, officers discovered that Lenius had contacted a coworker and referenced dealing with "monsters."

Law enforcement analyzed interviews, analysis of cell phone data, and a review of the toxicology reports provided by the medical examiner.

"After examining four of the suspect's electronic devices, we did not uncover any evidence or information indicating that the suspect had any prior knowledge of or communication with either of the victims involved in the incident," the news release stated, based on the gathered information. "Furthermore, the suspect may have been experiencing a mental health episode, potentially compounded by the influence of drugs."

Police sent the final investigative reports to the Carlton County Attorney's Office for review.

The news release ended with a statement of sympathy. "Our staff has been in contact with the victim's families throughout this incident, and we send our heartfelt condolences to them and everyone affected by the tragedy."