A member of the Fox Hill Neighborhood Association circulated an e-mail to residents of the neighborhood in Orono confirming OB/GYN specialist 74-year-old Stephen Larson was shot and killed inside his home Friday night.
Larson's neighbors told Fox 9 he lived on Heritage Lane for 12 years.
Some describe the doctor as a wonderful friend. They add what happened to Larson Friday was "incomprehensible" and "absolutely unnecessary."
According to the Hennepin County sheriff's office, Orono police responded to a call on the 1000 block of Heritage Lane just before 9 p.m. Friday.
Upon arrival, they encountered an adult male armed with a handgun in Larson's front yard. Shots were fired. The armed man, whom a member of the Fox Hill Neighborhood Association cites as the suspect in an e-mail, was pronounced dead at the scene.
No officers were injured.
Police then went inside the home and located a second deceased man, shot prior to their arrival.
Neighbors told Fox 9 the victim inside was Stephen Lawrence Larson, a medical doctor and founder of OB/GYN Specialists.
"I was woken up this morning at about 4 a.m. to the tragic news that Dr. Larson had died. Obviously that's a big shock for all of us at OB/GYN Specialists. We're all kind of reeling and trying to adjust to the horrible news we had to receive today," said Dr. Tony Shibley, Larson's long-time colleague.
Shibley told Fox 9 he's known Larson for the past 20 years.
"He was just an exceptional physician. He's one of the last of the great giants of physicians that we all imagine and dream about."
Larson's lengthy resume details an award granted by the Society of Pelvic Reconstructive Surgeons. Also a promotion to adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School in 2004.
"His passion for knowledge was unending," noted Shibley.
Dr. Larson, an apparent dog lover, was known for his great sense of humor.
Shibley also noted Larson could've retired long ago, yet spent much of his time actively practicing at age 74 in Burnsville and Edina.
"He's delivered many, many, thousands of babies and taken care of tens and tens of thousands of women," added Dr. Shibley.
Hennepin County sheriff's office reports what happened Friday night was an isolated incident.
Police believe there is no threat to the neighborhood. Yet hearing the murder was not random only shocks those who knew Larson that much more.
"To have a partner murdered is just unimaginable. We interact with all parts of society. We give care to anyone and everyone. We really think less about where those people might come from. Or what their own personal motivations in life are and we focus more on taking care of them. So it's certainly possible that someone who's maybe not quite as stable may have done this," nodded Dr. Shibley.
Hennepin County medical examiners are expected to reveal the name of the suspect within the next couple of days.
The identity of the officers involved won't be released until a later date.