3 dead after Cloquet shooting

CLOQUET — Three people are dead, including a man authorities believe to have shot the other two, at the Super 8 motel at 121 Big Lake Road near Minnesota Highway 33.

According to a news release from the Cloquet Police Department, at about 6:30 p.m. a Super 8 employee called 911 and reported that another employee appeared to have been attacked.

Police responded and found a 22-year-old woman with a gunshot wound. The woman was transported to St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth, where she was pronounced dead.

As police investigated, they also found a 35-year-old man in a car in the hotel parking lot, dead from a gunshot wound.

Later, police found a 32-year-old man dead outside on hotel property. The man apparently died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and a firearm was located next to him.

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department Response Team was called to help with the situation.

Commander Wade Rasch of the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the News Tribune that authorities found three people dead from gunshot wounds.

Police cars parked near Super 8 motel with lights flashing

Law enforcement officers investigate a shooting at Super 8 in Cloquet.

Jamey Malcomb / Duluth Media Group

The release stated there was no information regarding a motive for the shootings or if there was a connection between the suspect and either of the victims.

The area where the shooting occurred is heavily trafficked, with several restaurants, another hotel and two supermarkets nearby, and it is flanked by residential developments and single-family homes. Police warned anyone in the vicinity to find a room with a lock if possible, stay away from windows, silence all electronics, and remain silent. The warning was lifted around 8:30 p.m.

Chris Korby was at work at Arby’s in Cloquet, just across Highway 33 from the scene. When the alert came through, Korby said his supervisor told them to close the lobby but keep the drive-thru open.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking definitely when your life is on the line and you don’t know who it is,” Korby said. “So they could definitely walk in at any time or come to the drive-thru, you don’t know.”

Emergency vehicles wait outside a motel following a shooting.

A Cloquet Area Fire District ambulance waits outside the Super 8 motel. Police found three people dead from gunshot wounds inside, one believed to be the shooter.

Jamey Malcomb / Duluth Media Group

This story was updated several times with information from the police. The final version was published at 10:39 p.m. Jan. 8. The initial version was posted at 7:15 p.m. Jan. 8.

This story originally misstated the number of victims. It was updated at 10:08 p.m. Jan. 8 with the correct number. The News Tribune regrets the error.

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in history and literature and also holds a master’s degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.

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