Otter Tail County rocked by tragic shooting that has left 2 teenagers deadNews of Dylan's and Tabby's deaths quickly spread throughout Battle Lake and Perham schools. As students and teachers tried to deal with the tragedy, family could not wrap their arms around how something so horrific could happen in their home.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
Amor, Minn. (WDAY TV) - A tragic shooting that has rocked rural Otter Tail County, has left two teen-agers dead. It happened north of Battle Lake near Amor, Minnesota. The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office and the B-C-A are investigating the shootings as a murder suicide.
16-year old Tabby Belmonte died at the scene. A family spokesperson says her boyfriend, 17-year old Dylan Cox, was taken off life-support and died at Sanford this afternoon.
The shootings happened at the family home of Dylan Cox, where he and his girlfriend lived. It is unclear what sparked the shooting. Other family members in the house heard the gunshots, but were not injured.
BRIAN SCHLUETER - Otter Tail County Sheriff: “There were other residents in the house, I can say that, but both these people were residents of his house.”
News of Dylan's and Tabby's deaths quickly spread throughout Battle Lake and Perham schools. As students and teachers tried to deal with the tragedy, family could not wrap their arms around how something so horrific could happen in their home.
Family and friends today talked about the wonderful boy who loved hunting and fishing.
SUSAN VITALIS - Family Friend: “He was a great kid. This really totally came out of the blue.”
Who today, as family held him, was taken off life support this afternoon and died.
SUSAN VITALIS - Family Friend: “Typical all-American family, that tragedy happens and there are so many unanswered questions.”
Friends at home remember Dylan.
MIKE ERWIN - Dylan's Friend: “Easy going, funny, good sense of humor.”
Law enforcement is releasing few details of the murder-suicide. It is believed Dylan shot his girlfriend Tabitha Belmonte. The two were in the basement of his parent’s home near Amor in Otter Tail County.
Dylan was a junior in Battle Lake. Tabitha was a 10th grader in Perham and member of the speech team.
TAMARA USELMAN - Perham Superintendent: “It is difficult to wrap your arms around this crisis that families are feeling.”
It has been a rollercoaster of emotions for the students here in Perham. First the news of the shooting, the send off of the team going to state, and a terroristic threat that locked down the schools on campus. The school provided counselors to those grieving.
TAMARA USELMAN - Perham Superintendent: “The physical and emotional safety and educate, trying to get that done in a fluid environment.”
As family of the two wrestle with the whys and what ifs, this chapter in the tragic story, a baby girl, Emma Lee, born in August, is left now without a mother and dad.
Perham school administrators say the lockdown at school was only due to the "phoned in" terroristic threat at the middle school and had nothing to do with the shootings. There is suspect from the state of Washington, in custody.