Police in Minn. seize man after hostage-taking

AP News
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 6:05 PM

A man with a sawed-off shotgun gun entered an office building in a St. Paul suburb Thursday and held a woman hostage, at one point holding the weapon to her head, police said.

Roseville police took a man who fit the gunman's description into custody. The woman appeared to be uninjured.

Police received a report about 1 p.m. that a man with a gun had taken a hostage at the three-story building in a heavily trafficked area. Authorities evacuated the building and locked down the nearby Brimhall Elementary School.

Acting Roseville Police Chief Rick Mathwig said no shots were fired. Mathwig said officers were trying to verify that the suspect they were holding was the gunman. A weapon was not immediately found, but officers found a bag that had been discarded in the snow.

Not long after officers took the man into custody, members of a SWAT team found the woman taken hostage barricaded in a room. Mathwig said she was being interviewed by investigators.

About an hour and a half after the incident began, 30 people were led from the building by officers and brought across a parking lot into the lobby of a store, where they waited while two SWAT teams searched the building. Bomb dogs also searched the building.

Jen Dyrdahl of Edina, who works in the accounting office at A'viands Food and Services Management, said she was working in her office on the third floor when a colleague told her something was going on. She looked outside and saw the building surrounded by officers with their guns drawn.

"That was pretty surreal and scary," Dyrdahl said.