The 39-year-old brothers, Eric and Travis Carlson, had allegedly been feuding for years, but their sibling rivalry turned fatal according to Carter County Sheriff Neil Kittelmann. Eric, a rancher, shot Travis, who owned a fencing company, at 5:15 on October 19.
Travis was out in the countryside, building a fence in Ekalaka, Carter County, a town of only 350-odd residents. Two of Travis' employees witnessed Eric leaving the scene of the shooting. An APB was put out for Eric after Travis' body was discovered, but on the morning October 20 Eric was discovered dead in his Ekalaka home, an apparent suicide.
"The two brothers have been fighting for about a year," said Kittelmann. "Nobody thought it was serious."
"We don't know a reason for why that stuff happens. You don't know that and I don't know that."
The investigation of the murder-suicide has been taken over by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation. A more specific motive has not been stated by any authorities.
The Carlson family did not reply to requests for comment. Both brothers were memorialized in a joint service at a Lutheran church in their hometown of Canton, South Dakota. "They're identical twins," said the sheriff. "I wouldn't think the family would prefer to do it any other way."