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Police respond to standoff

Emergency personnel responded to the scene of a standoff on the 1400 block of 13th Avenue Northeast Thursday in Willmar. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

WILLMAR -- As of 10 p.m. Thursday, law enforcement officers were in a standoff with a 42-year-old man threatening to kill himself with a gun along the 1400 block of 13th Avenue Northeast.

Willmar Police officers were called to the home at 6:52 p.m., according to Willmar Police Chief Jim Kulset.

The man said he had a gun and also made other threats.

Officers from the police department's tactical team, along with the tactical team from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's office, were working to evacuate the people in other apartments in or near the structure and continue communicating with the man, Kulset said.

"There is no indication that he has anyone else in the apartment with him," the chief said.

"We have had some communication with him on and off."

Kulset said the department has had contact with the man involved in the standoff in the past, but declined to release the name of the individual.

Tactical team members, some in full SWAT gear and armed with shotguns and rifles, were seen moving around the neighborhood. The house where the man was located was dark, as were many of the neighboring homes. Due to the below zero temperatures and frigid wind chills, officers were rotating shifts on the scene and warming up in the department's tactical bus, Kulset said.

The temperature was minus 2 and wind chill values dropped below minus 20. Squad cars had cordoned off a one-block area around the home. The Willmar Ambulance and State Patrol were also on the scene.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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