Man Pleads Guilty To Taking 2 Hostage In Gas Station

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 31-year-old Burnsville man accused of taking two people hostage at a south metro gas station in September has pleaded guilty to charges.

Ariel Luis Barnett pleaded guilty Friday in Dakota County Court to two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of kidnapping to commit great bodily harm and one count of a firearm violation for a convicted felon.

According to police, Barnett entered the Holiday gas station at Nicollet Avenue and Highway 13 in Burnsville with a sawed-off shotgun, and fired the gun into the ceiling of the store. He ordered his ex-girlfriend, a store employee, and another male employee to call police because he was taking them hostage, adding that both of their lives were in danger.

That night, police were able to talk Barnett into releasing the male employee and then to surrender.  Barnett had been in a seven-year relationship with the female victim and had recently separated after he was in a Rice County prison for 53 days for an unrelated manner.

Barnett will be sentenced in the case on Dec. 27.

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