Reporting Esme Murphy
ST. PAUL PARK, Minn. (WCCO) – Police were involved in a standoff with an armed man in St. Paul Park Tuesday morning — a situation that a Twin Cities sheriff said is a “miracle” that officers weren’t hurt.
According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the incident began at about 1:30 a.m. after a 22-year-old man was reported to be walking on the train tracks near Pullman and 9th Avenue. Police said he was intoxicated.
Washington Co. Sheriff Bill Hutton said he is grateful that his officers were not injured. The standoff happened in St. Paul Park, where terrified neighbors were ordered to their basements and some were evacuated as the gunman refused to surrender and began firing at officers.
“The Washington County Strike Force came to my door, plus the Washington County Sheriff called my cell phone saying we had to go downstairs and be away from windows,” said Kristen Newton, a nearby neighbor.
A special response team was brought in after the man went into a house, reportedly with loaded weapons. A man and two women were in the home when the standoff started, but they were able to escape from the home.
The sheriff’s department said the man shot at police with a rifle and a shotgun, firing multiple times at officers. Neighbors say after tear gas was thrown into the house the man came out but refused to surrender. That’s when officers shot him.
“I thought it was fireworks at first and then I heard, “Pop, pop, pop” and I thought, ‘Uh oh,’” said Melinda Joyce, another neighbor.
The standoff ended at 6:30 a.m with no officers being harmed. The man was taken to Regions Hospital.
A woman inside the house was arrested but it is not clear if she remains in custody. The BCA is handling the case but are not releasing the man’s name at this time. Charges are expected on Wednesday.