Family: Shooting suspect had history of mental illness

5:04 PM, Sep 30, 2012   |    comments
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RICHFIELD, Minn. -- Andrew Engeldinger's parents walked out of the front door of their Richfield home with an executive from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). They read a brief statement about their son; the man police say killed 6 people at a Minneapolis business on Thursday.

"Our hearts go out to the families of the people killed and those who were wounded in this tragedy. Nothing we can say can make up for their loss," Chuck Engeldinger said. The parents also detailed a difficult life.

"Our son struggled for years with mental illness. In the last few years, he no longer had contact with us. This is not an excuse for his actions, but sadly, may be a partial explanation," the father continued to read. A family spokesperson told KARE 11 that the parents had been trying to get their son help for years.

A KARE 11 investigation only found the suspect had one brush with the law; a fleeing police citation in Bloomington back in 1997. In that incident, police reports say, he drove through a fence while trying to evade authorities.

In Engeldinger's South Minneapolis neighborhood, residents say they never had the opportunity to get to know the reclusive resident. They say he kept to himself. If he was outside, he had headphones on while he was shoveling snow or mowing the lawn. They say he had lived in the home for "several years" and rarely said hello.

On Friday, the front window of the home was boarded up and a police sign explaining the previous night's search was tacked up to the wood. Police say during that search, they found an additional handgun and packaging for more than 10,000 rounds.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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