Updated: January 15, 2021 06:50 PM
Created: January 15, 2021 06:19 PM
Brooklyn Park Police believe the suspect in a hostage situation Thursday came to Minnesota from out of state. The man has not been publicly identified by the medical examiner’s office.
At about 3:15 p.m., Brooklyn Park Police were called to the 7500 block of 83rd Avenue North.
People living near Sumter Circle reported seeing a suspicious man walking around the neighborhood. Police then received a second call from a homeowner who said a man had broken into his home and fled out the front door.
When an officer arrived to the area, kids came out of a nearby home and flagged him down.
“To have children tell you a man broke into our house and our brother is inside the house, that's a really tense situation for those officers,” Brooklyn Park Deputy Chief Mark Bruley said.
According to Bruley, there were three children between the ages of 7 and 14 inside the home when the man entered their home. The two older children were able to get out.
As soon as backup arrived at the scene, officers entered the home.
“When they got upstairs, they found the suspect had barricaded the bedroom doors with a bed and dressers and then had told the officers that, essentially, he had the child and he was armed and he was not going to surrender,” Bruley said. “As a parent, this is the worst-case scenario.”
Crisis negotiators and a SWAT team were called in. After about an hour, police convinced the suspect to let the 7-year-old go. A family member told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Friday that they are all doing OK.
The standoff lasted several more hours until the suspect took his own life at around 11 p.m.
Police told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the suspect has no known connection to Brooklyn Park or Minnesota. They believe he came to the state from Missouri with an accomplice. According to Bruley, the pair has been traced back to a stolen vehicle case and recent police pursuit in Missouri.
“At this point, we don't know what the individual was doing in Brooklyn Park,” Bruley said. “We did identify that he came here in a stolen vehicle, we located that stolen vehicle early this morning.”
He said they’ve also connected the pair to a theft earlier on Thursday at a nearby Walmart.
“We do believe they were casing and going through people's houses and committing property crimes,” he said.
A neighbor told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the suspect briefly entered their family's home office storage space. Their security camera captured him leaving out a window shortly after entering the home. He then ran to the home on 83rd Avenue, according to the witness.
The second suspect has not been located. They don’t believe that person entered the home where the hostage situation took place.
Brooklyn Park police are still trying to determine why the suspect entered the home. According to Bruley, the suspect didn't have any active arrest warrants at the time of the incident but the suspect told officers during the standoff that he didn't want to return to prison.
"I do know the suspect had been in and out of prison and there was going to be some probation violations put back on him," he said.
Bruley told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that neighbors played an instrumental role in safely rescuing the child. He said because they called 911 to report seeing a suspicious person, an officer was in the area when the older children ran out of the home.
“This is why we ask you to call,” he said. “If it doesn’t look right, if it doesn’t seem right, call 911 and let us check it out.”
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