Stand Off Ends Safely

By KBJR News 1

July 27, 2011 Updated Jul 27, 2011 at 5:07 PM CST

Duluth, MN (Northlands NewsCenter) - A four hour stand-off in West Duluth came to a safe end, with one man taken into police custody. It all began around nine o'clock this morning.

It was a tense situation on 5th Street in between 39th and 38th Avenue West.

A suicidal 34 year old man allegedly threatened to blow himself up with a cylinder of propane.

The entire block and ally was cleared of any residents this morning as SWAT teams and ambulance were on standby.

Residents in the neighborhood say the man is currently involved in a custody battle and authorities say he is an active duty member of the U.S. Military.

The number of Police in the neighborhood came as a surprise for many residents including Brett Hiemenz, neighbor of the man.

"Around 9:30 I heard my dog barking. I let him outside around 10- 10:30 and I noticed SWAT teams all around my house. Had a guy in the bushes right behind me tell me to put the dog back inside the house. Then I kind of figured there was something going on."

After four hours of waiting and negotiating with the man, authorities made their move around 12:45 to get into the house.

SWAT teams threw what some residents were calling a smoke bomb into the front window of his house and soon after, the man came out, was tackled to the ground, and was taken into custody.

As dramatic of a scene it seemed to be, nobody was injured. Authorities were able to move everyone out and keep the children that lived throughout the neighborhood safe, including a private daycare operating further down the street.