This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Two people in Minnesota died this week in what police have described as a murder-suicide.
On Tuesday night, St. Paul Police Department officers responded to the home of Yia Xiong, 33, who was found dead alongside his wife, Ka Lor, 30, police said in a press release. A family member said Xiong instructed his five children to play in the basement before the shooting.
"The father asked the five kids to go down in the basement, just go play or whatever. The older son heard three gunshots," explained Xiong's brother, Chee Nu Xiong, KARE-TV reported.
Saint Paul Fire medics pronounced both deceased at the scene.
According to Wednesday's press release, the St. Paul Police Department said they were made aware of the incident after the children, whose ages range from 2 to 9, heard gunshots and one of them dialed 911.
Yi and Ka, both residents of St. Paul, had been married for ten years and were parents to all five children. KARE reports the family had just returned from a summer camping trip.
"The children are currently safe with family. They received after-care resource referrals from the Homicide Unit, including St. Paul Survivor Resources and the Midwest Children’s Resource Center," police said in the press release.
Chee Nu Xiong told KARE he wished his brother had reached out to him.
"I just wish he could've given me a call," he told the outlet. The bother said the two recently spoke on the phone and that he gave no indication of the eventual tragedy.
"We were joking; there's no voice or change that I would've known that you know what would happen," Chee Nu Xiong said.
He added: "Stable house, stable job — my brother worked, my sister in-law worked, kids going to school and stuff like that. His kids are his heart, his world."
The family has taken in the children, KARE reported. Chee Nu Xiong said: "They're still thinking that their parents are either at work or either still sleeping. It's just heartbroken they won't be there anymore."
"Now that they're gone, I don't know what to do. I still don't know what happened and I will miss them," said Jouatrue Siong, Xiong's great-grandfather, via a translator.
A weapon was recovered at the scene and the case remains under investigation.
St. Paul police are encouraging anyone in the area experiencing domestic violence to reach out to organizations like the Saint Paul Intervention Project, at 651-645-2824. SPPD said anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should seek help from mental health professionals, such as those at the Ramsey County Crisis Line at 651-266-7900.