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Bemidji police apprehend man accused of threatening family with handgun

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- A 20-year-old Bemidji man whose alleged actions triggered a Code Red Alert within the city Thursday night is currently being held in the Beltrami County Jail where he is awaiting formal charges.

According to a news release from Chief of Police Mike Mastin, police responded to the 1000 block of East Avenue after receiving a report that a male had threatened family members with a handgun.

Before officers arrived the male left on foot saying, “call the cops, I am ready,” the release said. Police then issued the Code Red Alert for residents near the Sanford Center and on the east side of Lake Bemidji, advising them to stay inside and lock their doors.

The man was found hiding in a gazebo on a property near the original incident and was apprehended after a 20-minute standoff in what Mastin called “extremely cold and dangerous conditions.” The suspect allegedly told officers “he could get off a few shots before they could shoot him.”

The Headwater SWAT team eventually used less-lethal ammunition to incapacitate the man long enough for him to be handcuffed. He was then transported to a hospital for evaluation.

According to the Beltrami County Jail Roster, the man was arrested for terroristic threats, domestic assault, receiving stolen property, obstructing the legal process and possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony.

The area encompassed by the alert included Lincoln Elementary School, where more than a dozen law enforcement vehicles were parked Thursday evening. The Bemidji Ambulance Service, the Bemidji Fire Department, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota State Patrol, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal apprehension assisted the Bemidji Police Department.