Lakeland teenagers dead in suicide shooting [UPDATE]

Police found the two bodies in a Lakeland park near the St. Croix River, above.
Police found the two bodies in a Lakeland park near the St. Croix River, above.

The bodies of two teenagers found in a Lakeland park Tuesday evening have been identified, and police say they're now treating the incident as a suicide case involving a gun.

Jacob Z. Campbell, 14, of Lakeland, and Lisa Marie Grijalva, 15, of Oak Park Heights, were both ninth-grade students at Oak-Land Junior High School in Lake Elmo.

Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton said they were found shot in Humphries Park, near the St. Croix River, and a "long-barreled" weapon was found near by.

He had already made it clear to reporters last night at the scene that he was not looking for any suspects related to the two deaths.

The news means that at least eight teenagers have taken their own lives in Minnesota this year.

We spoke to the father of one of Grijalva's friends this morning. He described her as a "beautiful, happy, but very, very troubled" girl who grew up in a tough family situation.

Police were called to Humphries Park at about 7:30 p.m. after a 911 caller found the bodies of a boy and girl.

Neighbors told reporters the victims were part of a tight-knit group of friends who had lived in the area for a number of years. Two students from the school may have been discussing a suicide pact and had deleted their Facebook pages, although it wasn't clear today whether Grijalva and Campbell were the two students. Neighbors near the park reported hearing gunshot.

Counselors were at Oak-Land Junior High School today. And principal Derek Berg posted an open letter to parents on the school's website that read, in part:

We informed students of the deaths today and allowed them to meet with counselors if they wished, and to have time to talk, express their feelings, and support each other. Our students in need of support have been encouraged to talk about:

  • How they learned about the deaths
  • Their memories of their classmates
  • How they are feeling
  • How they can support one another
  • How they might want to do something to honor or remember their classmates

You can read the full letter by clicking here.

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