3 killed at Minn. day care, suspect sought
Shootings prompted a precautionary lockdown of a nearby technical college
By Amy Forliti
BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — Three adults were killed early Monday at an in-home day care in a suburb northwest of Minneapolis, and a nearby college was locked down as police searched for a suspect who fled on a bicycle.
Police released few details about the deaths in Brooklyn Park early Monday. Inspector Todd Milburn said no one else was injured, but wouldn't say whether any children were present during the attack about 6:30 a.m.
Neighbors said police told them to stay home because the suspect was still on the loose. No arrests were made by midday Monday.
Hakeem Hughes, 18, said he heard screaming coming from the direction of the house around 6:30 a.m., but didn't pay much attention because children often played outside the home. When he went to catch his bus to school, he said police told him to go back inside because a gunman was on the loose.
"I'm just shocked about it," Hughes said. "They are good people. They are innocent people."
Police tape was stretched around the house, a gray split-level in a modest neighborhood with children's toys in the fenced backyard. The Hennepin County sheriff's crime lab van was parked outside, and authorities went in and out, carrying what appeared to be evidence to the van.
A small group of people stood in the street several houses down, sobbing and hugging each other.
Though police declined to talk about the nature of the deaths, Milburn said officers initially responded to a report of suspicious activity.
DeLois Brown, 59, is the license holder for the residential child care center, according to state Department of Human Services records. Brown's license is valid through February 2013. Records do not indicate any adverse rulings or restrictions affecting the day care for up to 12 children.
Brown's business is called Visions and Butterflies Child Care, according to her LinkedIn profile.
The same profile lists Brown as a follow-up coordinator for Pink Purse Project Inc., a women's empowerment organization. She worked for nearly nine years in the nearby Osseo Area Schools system as a child care instructor and later child care site supervisor.
Milburn said a suspect fled the scene on a bicycle, and authorities were using K-9 dogs to try to find him. They also contacted a nearby Walmart to see if the store had anything on surveillance video.
Norris Vorasany, 18, said he was walking to catch his bus about 6:40 a.m. when police were putting up crime tape. He was told to walk around the tape or turn around and go home. He went home and later was told to go inside because the suspect was at large.
He said he usually sees Brown in her driveway in the morning, but he didn't see her on Monday.
Officials locked down the nearby Hennepin Technical College after police said there had been a shooting. The lockdown was lifted by early afternoon.
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