A man shot and killed two teens who he said broke into his home and placed their bodies in his basement before waiting one day to report the deaths, authorities said.
On Nov. 23, deputies from the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Little Falls home of Byron David Smith, 64, after receiving a report of suspicious activity.
“Smith immediately told the deputies that he had shot and killed two people breaking into his home the day prior,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. The bodies of an 18-year-old female and a 17-year-old male were recovered from the basement of Smith’s home.
Police have not released the names of the victims, whose bodies were taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office, however multiple sources told ABC News affiliate KSTP-TV they are cousins Haley Kifer and Nicholas Brady.
During the investigation and processing of the crime scene, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension discovered information that Smith went beyond the point of defending himself, according to the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Michel Wetzel said that “a person has every right to defend themselves and their homes, even employing deadly force if necessary,” however in this case, authorities said they had reason to believe Smith may have crossed the line.
Additional details are expected to be released after Smith’s initial court appearance on Monday. Charges are pending with the county attorney’s office. It was not clear whether Smith had hired an attorney.