BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. - Three adults were killed early Monday at an in-home day-care center in a suburb northwest of Minneapolis, and two nearby community colleges were locked down for several hours as police searched for a suspect who fled on a bicycle.
A mother who dropped off her toddler at the center in Brooklyn Park returned a few minutes later to find the three victims. The woman’s child was unhurt and no other children were at the center at the time.
Police had made no arrests by Monday night and were seeking a suspect in his mid-20s, believed to have fled on a BMX bicycle.
“It’s a tragic day for the city of Brooklyn Park,’’ Chief Michael Davis said. “We are going to bring whomever is responsible for this to justice.’’
The community colleges were locked down after the shootings were reported at 6:30 a.m. Both had reopened by Monday afternoon, as police continued to search for the suspect with tracking dogs. No one else was injured in the attack.
Neighbors of the day-care center said police told them to stay home because the suspect was still on the loose.
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 play 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.
Police tape was stretched around the house, a gray split-level in a modest neighborhood with children’s toys in the fenced backyard. A small group of people stood in the street several houses down, sobbing and hugging one another.
Inspector Todd Milburn said officers initially responded to a report of suspicious activity at the business, Visions and Butterflies Child Care.
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 center for up to 12 children. Brown worked for nearly nine years in the nearby Osseo area schools system as a child-care instructor and later child-care site supervisor.