Police: Man Involved In Murder Suicide Left Note Before Turning Gun On Himself

Police released more details Wednesday on the investigation of a murder suicide. They found the bodies of two men Tuesday at an apartment in northwest Sioux Falls. But as KDLT’s Jill Johnson explains this story began days earlier when police say the men got into a physical altercation.

The investigation into what took place at 45-year-old Ronald Cook’s apartment on the 1400 block of C Avenue began Tuesday at around 8:30 a.m.

Sioux Falls Police Dept. Lt. Mike Colwill said, “A subject who knows Mr. Cook had went to his location to pick him up for work.”

That person called police to check Cook’s well-being after discovering a note written by him.

Colwill said, “That (the note) said, ‘something bad had happened upstairs. Call the police.”

Police say they found both Cook and 36-year-old Brett Thooft (pictured right) dead inside. They believe the two got into a fight on Sunday, and at some point, Cook shot Thooft twice with a .40 caliber handgun.

“One round was in his head and one round was in his chest,” said Colwill.

Police believe it wasn’t until the next day that Cook turned that same gun on himself.

“The original altercation was not called into the police I would imagine because of the area where Mr. Cook resides,” said Colwill. “it’s very industrial and probably not a lot of people around on the weekend.”

Police say because no one appears to have heard anything, they don’t have exact times on when either death occurred. However, they’re confident they took place on Sunday and Monday.

Colwill said, “There was information in the note that helped us draw the conclusion as far as the timeline and the investigation itself.”

Police will only say that the two men were acquaintances. They say the victim’s family asked them not to give us information regarding their relationship.

Police believe alcohol was a factor in the case. They also found a small amount of marijuana at the apartment. Police say both have a criminal history with police.

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