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Man Charged After Thursday’s Toy Gun Triggered Lockdown

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 53-year-old Inver Grove Heights man faces charges after allegedly triggering a lockdown of Dakota County’s Northern Service Center Thursday morning.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said Friday that Terry Lee Debates has been charged with one count of terroristic threats, a felony.

Debates allegedly triggered the lockdown by being seen with a gun at the service center. The gun, however, turned out to be a toy.

According to a criminal complaint, Debates told a social worker and a trailer park staff member that he was going to get a confrontation with police and make officers kill him. He brought a toy gun along for the purpose.

Authorities said he was depressed and reported that he said he would resort to the suicide tactic if he was unable to get financial assistance to pay his rent. He lives at a trailer park.

The service center, which contains several Dakota County offices and at least two courtrooms, was put on lockdown around 9:30 a.m. Forty officers from various departments searched the building for Debates, who was found in a third-floor office at 10:35 a.m.

He was arrested without incident.

Nobody was hurt in the incident, and police said he did not have a weapon on him at the time of the arrest.

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