Irwin L. Jacobs
Mitch Kezar/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Orono Police Chief Correy Farniok confirmed on Wednesday that two adults were found dead inside the residence with a handgun on the bed

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April 11, 2019 12:16 AM

Two people were found dead inside the multimillion-dollar home of renowned businessman and former part-owner of the Minnesota Vikings Irwin Jacobs this week, following a possible murder-suicide.

The bodies were discovered in a bed next to a handgun by a routine visitor of the Minnesota residence on Wednesday morning, Orono Police Chief Correy Farniok confirmed in a press conference.

“Officers with the Orono Police Department made entry into the home. Upon entering, we found two individuals deceased — one adult male, one adult female — they were both inside the house and a gun was recovered,” Farniok said, adding that he was waiting for the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office to officially release their identities.

Irwin’s company, Jacobs Management Corp., later released a statement on behalf of the couple’s five children confirming Irwin, 77, and his wife of almost six decades, Alexandra, had died.

“Our family is shocked and devastated by the death of our parents, Irwin and Alexandra Jacobs,” read the statement, which was obtained by The Star Tribune. “We are heartbroken by this loss, and we ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.”

A representative for Irwin’s company did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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Farniok also noted that police felt there was “no immediate threat to the community” and it was a “contained situation” with no current suspects — stopping short of describing the deaths as a murder-suicide.

“This is an active investigation,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “We are releasing very minimal investigation due to the fact that this investigation is ongoing, but we do want to indicate that we feel there is no immediate threat to the community.”

“We don’t see this very often — in any of our communities, this doesn’t happen,” Farniok added. “We are taking this seriously. We’re looking at it from every aspect.”

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Though police were unable to confirm the details around the case, Dennis Mathisen, one of Irwin’s longtime business partners, told The Star Tribune that the prominent businessman had killed his wife of 57 years before turning the gun on himself.

“[Alexandra] had been in a wheelchair for the last year or so and had signs of dementia. Irwin was just distraught over her condition,” he told the publication, adding that he learned of the tragedy after speaking to Irwin’s secretary and son Mark Jacobs.

Mathisen also said he last spoke to his friend just a few days ago and he seemed “upbeat.”

Irwin L. Jacobs
Denver Post via Getty Images

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Irwin was well-known in the business world — in part due to his aggressive techniques of buying and liquidating struggling companies, earning himself the nickname of “Irv the Liquidator,” according to The Star Tribune.

In the 1980s, he owned a minority share of the Minnesota Vikings but had sold it by 1991. Throughout his life, he also owned Grain Belt Beer Company and boatmaking company Genmar Holdings Co. — both of which he had since sold, the outlet reports.

At the time of his death, Irwin was the owner of soap and household products company J.R. Watkins Co. in Winona and retail merchandise trading company Jacobs Trading Co.

The father of five was also very much involved in giving back and donated $8 million to the Special Olympics in 1991  — a cause that was particularly important to him and his wife, who shared a daughter with cerebral palsy, according to Fast Forward.

The couple had lived on their lakefront estate for almost 50 years. In 2014, they put the home on the market for $22 million.

Irwin told The Star Tribune that he decided to sell the home, despite hoping he would die there one day, because “didn’t want to burden my wife if something happened to me.”

Later in 2014, the home was pulled off the market and the couple decided to just sell some of their 32 acres of land instead, according to Finance & Commerce.

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