Updated: May 07, 2021 10:38 AM
Created: May 06, 2021 03:49 PM
The suspect in this case, 35-year-old Ray Reco McNeary, from St. Cloud, has been transported to the Stearns County Jail and will be charged sometime Friday by the Stearns County Attorney's Office with aggravated robbery, kidnapping and second-degree assault.
No physical injuries were sustained by anyone involved in this incident. No firearm was located on McNeary, or at the scene.
Authorities identified the suspect who held hostages in a St. Cloud Wells Fargo for over eight hours Thursday as Ray Reco McNeary.
St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis said all five people who were held hostage during the incident are safe and have since returned to their homes.
St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson called the resolution of the incident "the best possible outcome we could have had."
According to Anderson, the department received a call just before 2 p.m. from the Wells Fargo branch on the report of a customer who was disgruntled about a prior transaction.
A short time later, Anderson said police received a panic alarm signaling a bank robbery at the branch.
When police arrived, they learned a number of people fled the bank but five people were held hostage.
Anderson said McNeary immediately asked the police to contact the FBI. At this time, it is unknown if McNeary had a weapon during the incident, according to Anderson.
McNeary was eventually taken into custody before 10:30 p.m. and was booked into the Stearns County Jail.
According to Anderson, the St. Cloud Police Department has had "numerous contacts" with McNeary dating back a decade. Anderson said that McNeary was supposed to appear in court Thursday for "a violent offense."
Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall said her office is in communication with the U.S. Attorney's Office to discuss whether McNeary should face state or federal charges.
"Charges are pending," Kendall said. "It's a question of where we will get the most effective sentence for this crime."
Police say a suspect is in custody after a hostage situation at a Wells Fargo in St. Cloud.
The suspect was seen being led out of the bank shortly before 10:30 p.m.
According to the St. Cloud Police Department, all hostages that were inside the bank are safe and uninjured.
Four hostages have now been released from a Wells Fargo branch in St. Cloud, where a standoff has been active for several hours.
Shortly before 6:30 p.m., a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew saw a woman leaving the bank with their hands up. Police confirmed the person leaving the building was a hostage who had been released. The second hostage was seen walking out just after 7 p.m. The other two hostages left the building shortly after 7:50 p.m.
According to the St. Cloud Police Department, officers were dispatched right before 2 p.m. on the report of a robbery in progress at the Wells Fargo on 33rd Avenue South.
The incident is active and ongoing and police have asked people to stay clear of the area.
Police said no injuries have been reported and that an undisclosed number of bank employees are being held hostage inside.
The St. Cloud Police Department is working with the FBI and SWAT resources at the scene, and negotiations are ongoing. Chopper footage shows law enforcement setting up a staging area in the shopping center parking lot next door.
Wells Fargo issued the following statement regarding the incident:
"We can confirm a hostage situation at Wells Fargo's St. Cloud South branch, located at 200 33rd Avenue South. We are cooperating with local law enforcement and will do whatever we can to assist the authorities in their investigation. We recognize this is a traumatic moment for the community and our colleagues. The safety and security of our customers and employees is our most important priority."
A 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew is on the way to the scene.
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