Monday, December 2, 2019 3:14 PM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The house in Minneapolis where four people died in an apparent domestic attack was occupied by a recently divorced mother and her two sons, according to a neighbor who said he helped the woman shovel snow from her driveway just hours before she was killed.
Authorities have not released the identities of the man, woman and two boys who were shot to death in south Minneapolis on Sunday.
Erik Wiltscheck, who lives next door, told the Star Tribune that he was walking home from a store around 10 a.m. when he heard the boys screaming and saw them running out their front door, followed by the sound of shots.
Officers arrived and found the children shot outside the home. Police put them in squad cars and took them to a safe location where they were met by paramedics, but both children were pronounced dead, police said.
Police said they heard more gunfire coming from inside the house and they set up a perimeter, locking down the neighborhood and evacuating nearby houses. SWAT officers attempted to contact the people inside the house. After about four hours, police sent a robot inside and found the bodies of a woman and a man.
Wiltscheck said Kjersten Schladetzky lived in the house. He said he often waved to her sons and that he had helped Schladetzky shovel the snow from her driveway earlier that morning.
According to divorce documents, David Schladetzky, 53, sought a divorce from Kjersten Schladetzky, 39, in November 2018. The divorce was finalized last June. The couple had been married since February 2006 and had two sons, 11-year-old William and 8-year-old Nelson.
The divorce filing said David Schladetzky was unemployed at the time but had prior food service experience and had been a stay-at-home dad for the past five years. His petition for a divorce cited an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage but did not elaborate.
Anna Pratt, a friend of Kjersten’s, told The Associated Press that Kjersten had previously worked as a box office manager at Hennepin Theatre Trust and that she met David at the theater, where he worked in concessions.
“She was just so brilliant and she could take on anything. She was so bright and handled things with such finesse,” Pratt said, adding that no matter what was going on with David, she was happy to be a mom.
“She just really loved those two boys and was so pleased have them in her life. The three shared such a great dynamic,” Pratt said.
Wiltscheck, the neighbor, told the Star Tribune that the two boys made a game of throwing balls over the 6-foot fence that divided their properties, knowing he would toss them back.
On Sunday evening, the boys’ backpacks and gloves were still in the snow.
“If I had the chance, I would have traded my life for those kids,” he said. “I just can’t make sense of this.”