Woman killed, husband wounded in St. Paul shooting

10:05 PM, Apr 25, 2010   |    comments
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Nicholas and Heidi Firkus (photo from facebook)

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A St. Paul man told police his shotgun went off, killing his wife and wounding him, while he struggled with a home intruder Sunday morning.

Heidi Firkus, 25, died inside the home at 1794 W. Minnehaha Ave.  Her husband, Nicholas Firkus, 27, was shot in the leg.  He was treated and released from Regions Hospital Sunday.

Nick Firkus told police that he and his wife were upstairs around 6:30 a.m. when they heard a noise downstairs.  He said he grabbed his shotgun and walked downstairs with his wife.  He was confronted by a man coming through the front door.

"A struggle ensued over the shotgun," said Sgt. Paul Schnell.  "The shotgun went off and the wife was shot."

Nick Firkus told investigators he was then shot in the leg before the suspect fled.

Branden O'Connor, who was house-sitting next door, heard a muffled sound coming from the victims' home Sunday morning.

"I thought I heard, 'Please stop!'" O'Connor said.  "I may have also heard, 'You shot me,' or, 'You shot her.'"

As of Sunday night, no one had been arrested in the case.  Nick Firkus was only able to give police a vague description of the suspect.  He was about 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighed 200 to 220 pounds and was wearing a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt, Firkus told police.

There were no obvious signs of forced entry, Schnell said, but police were still processing the scene.

A prayer service was held Sunday night at Calvary Baptist in Roseville, which is where Nick and Heidi Firkus have attended church for years.  They recently served as mentors to high school students at the church, said Sid Veenstra, the church's associate pastor.

"They're just one really cool couple," Veenstra said.  "That's what makes this so senseless."

Authorities did receive two 911 calls from the residence Sunday morning.  The first call reported the attempted burglary, but then the call was disconnected.  Moments later, before police could get to the scene, another call reported that two people had been shot.

Police took fingerprints and spent much of Sunday collecting evidence inside the home.

"At this point in time, investigators are going to follow the evidence," Schnell said.

(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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