Neighbors react the tragic death of a Duluth family

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 10:48 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR 6) - Thursday, Duluth Police named the victims of a murder-suicide in the East Hillside neighborhood.

Chief Mike Tusken identified them as Riana Lou Barry, 44, Sean Christopher Barry, 47, Shiway Elizabeth Barry, 12, and Sadie Lucille Barry, 9.

He said they were shot by 29-year-old Brandon Taylor Cole–Skogstad, who was the children’s cousin.

In the neighborhood the Barry’s called home, and across Duluth, it’s been a day of mourning.

The community is still in shock.

“It’s just really hard,” said Brianna Williams, a grad student who lives down the street. “You think you’re safe in this community and it’s just crazy because I’m always chatting with the neighbors and everyone’s chatty.”

Neighbors said it is a friendly community, and that families and older folks make up most of the block.

“I mean this is a really nice street,” said neighbor Mollie Sebok. “It’s a nice area.”

She also lives in the neighborhood and said two weeks ago, the Barry’s were part of a group playing and watching a football game in the street.

“Everyone was cheering them on,” Sebok said. “It was a really nice day, so all of the neighbors were out. They kind of felt like stars because everyone was watching them. It was really friendly, and I was proud to live here.”

Sebok said Sean Barry often helped out his neighbors without being asked.

“He’s really nice,” she said. “He’s always snowblowing for people, and they watch my kids play football. They’re really nice.”

Some have already started laying flowers outside of the home where the Barry’s lived.

“It blows my mind that something like this even happened in Duluth, something this horrific,” Williams said. “Let alone on my block.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the Barry’s family members with the cost of funeral services.

At this time, we haven’t heard of any plans for laying the family to rest.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, there are resources to turn to.

You can reach the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ hotline by dialing 1-800-950-N-A-M-I.

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