Authorities ID Pine Island Shooting Victims

Posted at: 01/07/2014 9:20 AM
Updated at: 01/07/2014 6:38 PM

Photo: Nick Roecker & Kayla Koranda

Photo: Photo: MGN Online

(ABC 6 News) - The Olmsted County Sheriff's Department has classified the fatal double shooting in Pine Island Monday as a murder suicide. 

The Department says, "although the investigation is ongoing our investigators have determined that this scene is a homicide/suicide, pending official determination by the Medical Examiner's Office." 

"You can imagine, they're terribly just devastated, distraught,” said neighbor, Jeffrey Easton.

Authorities have also identified the victims as 19-year-old Nick Roecker of Pine Island and 18-year-old Kayla Koranda of Rochester. Roecker was a student at the University of Minnesota Duluth Campus. Koranda was a student at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus.

"Incidents like this are not something that anyone wants to have happen to a family and to our community,” said Dave Mueller, Olmsted County Sheriff. 

Both graduated from Lourdes High School in Rochester. Authorities believe the two were just friends but say, "the depth of their relationship is unknown at this time." 

Deputies responded to a "medical call" at 6948 100th Street NW in Pine Island and found Roecker and Koranda in the shed near the main house. Koranda had already passed away. Roecker was taken to Mayo Clinic, where he passed away. 

Authorities say the two were first discovered by a family member and that a handgun was recovered at the location. At this point, the Olmsted County Sheriff says he believes it is Roecker who fired the gun. He also says the 19-year-old may have been dealing with some mental health issues.

"They're searching for answers and questions and you can imagine he's totally devastated, both of them, the whole family,” said Easton.

The neighbor, Jeffrey Easton, says he knew Nicholas well before he went off to college.

"He was always willing to help, good kid, hard worker, smart, easy going, just a great kid, nothing bothering him that I knew of,” said Easton.

Easton says the family is now asking for support and privacy. 

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting the Olmsted County Sheriff's department in the investigation.