Shortly after the murder of Dr. Stephen Larson, police went to the home of shooting suspect Ted Hoffstrom's parents, fearing for their safety as well.
They were unharmed and shocked by what happened. Police then searched Hoffstrom's bedroom looking for clues that may go back to his birth, and the very doctor who told his mother she was pregnant.
Hours before the murder Friday night, Hoffstrom was working at a liquor store in St. Anthony, Minn., where he held a part-time job. His coworkers said nothing seemed unusual that night with the hard working 30-year-old, who had graduated from law school and recently passed the bar. His boss at the liquor store calls Hoffstrom "the salt of the earth."
After work, Hoffstrom returned to his parents' home a few blocks away.
According to a police report obtained by Fox 9 News, Hoffstrom left the house around 8 p.m. His father told police his son didn't say where he was going, but that he had folders in his hands. His father assumed it was related to his son's law studies.
About 55 minutes later, Hoffstrom showed up at the Orono home of Dr. Larson. Police believe after a brief argument, Hoffstrom shot and kills the 74-year-old doctor, then, 14 minutes later, at 9:09pm, after a confrontation with police, police shot Hoffstrom.
"We know who committed this murder but many unanswered questions remain," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said.
On Monday, Stanek offered a cryptic clue.
"Through our investigation we have learned that Dr. Larson had provided professional care to the mother of the suspect at one point in time. The suspect had recently expressed hostility to his family members regarding Dr. Larson," he said.
Dr. Larson treated Hoffstrom's mother in 1983 and diagnosed her as pregnant with her son, Ted.
Friends say Hoffstrom blamed Dr. Larson for his birth defect. He was born with his hands and feet attached to his body, which needed to be surgically detached.
He occasionally walked with a limp, and had ongoing medical issues.
However, what shocks his friends most of all, is that Hoffstrom would even have a gun. On a memorial page, friends talk about his gentle manner, his kindness, and say he was repulsed by violence of any kind.
Why a promising young lawyer saw a gun, and Dr. Larson, as an answer to problems no one else could see, is a mystery that may never be fully answered.
Fox 9 news has learned Hoffstrom recently got a permit to carry a firearm, and shortly after that, purchased the handgun used to kill Dr. Larson. Over the years, Hoffstrom had shared the story of his birth defect and had told friends his family was unable to sue Dr. Larson, because medical records had disappeared.
In Dr. Larson's 40-year career, he had been reprimanded twice by the medical board, and only sued once from malpractice, records indicate, all three cases unrelated to Hoffstrom and his family.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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