Report of suicidal male ends in tragedy

Many residents of the Waters Edge community in Hugo spotted a lot of police activity the evening of Monday, March 25. The Washington County Sheriff's Department deployed its SWAT Tech team to a report of a possible suicidal male with a hand gun. During the incident, Evergreen Drive, Education Drive and Oneka Parkway (at Farnham Avenue) were closed down.

HUGO — At 5:05 p.m. Monday, March 25, the Washington County Sheriff's Department was dispatched to the 5000 block of Evergreen Drive on a report of a possible suicidal male with a hand gun. 

Upon arrival on scene, a few officers met with the complainant at the Waters Edge Community Center to learn more about the situation while other officers “positioned themselves around the residence to try to keep it inside that residence instead of having it move out into the street,” said Sgt. Joseph Stoehr.

Shortly after that, officers heard a gun shot. According to the complainant, there was nobody else in the home at the time of the incident. “Since we knew there was no danger to anyone else in the residence, we did deploy our SWAT Tech team and they deployed their robot. We cleared the residence using the robot,” Stoehr said. “We cleared everything but one room. We were unable to get into the room. The robot was unable to push open the door because it appears it was barricaded.”

A team of officers went into the home to see if the 47-year-old male was inside that room and while doing so they cleared another room, believed to be his room. While in there, officers observed a cell phone on the floor that had been shot.

“We assumed he was still alive at that point, so we moved out of there and left the robot to try to communicate with him. He came out of the room about a half hour later and didn't realize the robot was still there and communication again started,” Stoehr said.

A short time later the man fatally shot himself. Stoehr confirmed the sheriff's office has responded to the residence before for a similar situation. Stoehr ensured “the public was never in harms way. We worked really hard to contain it to that one residence,” adding the immediate next door neighbor was not home and and the neighbors on the other side evacuated their home.

Although the majority of police presence was gone, the scene was not cleared until shortly after 3 a.m. Tuesday, March 26. The Washington County Sheriff's Department, North Memorial Ambulance and the the Washington County Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) responded to the scene.

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