Couple in Apple Valley murder-suicide had troubled history
Couple’s children, ages 4 and 5, now in protective custody
The shooting deaths of an estranged husband and wife outside an Apple Valley apartment complex Saturday marked the dark final chapter in the couple’s troubled, often abusive relationship.
According to police, 41-year-old Woynshet Woldemariam was shot by her estranged husband, Anteneh Tsegaye of Eagan, in the parking lot outside the South Cedar Knolls apartment complex around 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Tsegaye then turned the gun on himself.
Both had died by the time police arrived on the scene. A shotgun was located near the bodies.
Prior to Saturday’s fatal shootings, police had responded to domestic calls involving the couple, who were married in 2007 but no longer lived together.
Woldemariam, an Ethiopian immigrant and naturalized citizen who worked as a nurse, had been arrested for hitting Tsegaye and was convicted on domestic abuse charges, according to a Star Tribune report.
However, in June 2010 a district judge awarded custody of the couple’s two children to Woldemariam, noting that she was the victim of ongoing abuse – emotional, verbal, physical and sexual.
Following the shooting on Saturday, the bodies were transported to the Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in Hastings.
The couple’s two children – a 5-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy – are in protective custody. Apple Valley police report that Woldemariam’s relatives are working with social services to get custody of the children.