May 24, 2018 10:18 PM
It took tear gas and a SWAT team to make a White Bear Lake man surrender after an incident requiring a major police presence Thursday afternoon.
It happened near a busy stretch just off of Highway 61 and 1st Street, close to downtown White Bear Lake.
"It's scary because what if he comes out and there's gunfire or something," said Stacey King, who lives in White Bear Lake.
For a couple hours, several people saw the incident unfold.
"We saw snipers in the backyard," said Kaylee Payne, who lives in Hugo.
King was one of many who couldn't leave the area because her car was barricaded in.
"We just couldn't leave," King said.
The White Bear Lake Police Department said the decision was made to evacuate nearby homes.
"Once we decided he was a potential danger to the community, we decided to evacuate all the residences around his home," Capt. Dale Hager of the department said.
Police said the matter started as a domestic situation. When officers arrived, the woman came out of the home unharmed.
But the man remained inside.
"The male kind of bunkered himself into the residence," Hager said.
With the help of the SWAT team and other agencies, the man surrendered after the home was filled with gas.
"They would say with all the tear gas that's in there, he's not going to be able to make it in there for another 15 minutes," King said. "But he did. It took him a long time to get out."
"Somebody said that that was the way that he preferred to go - to end his life," Hager said. "Luckily in this case, that didn't happen."
The suspect was taken into custody. But those who saw it all develop just off a highly-traveled highway are thankful it ended without anyone getting hurt badly.
"You just want to make sure you don't see something that you want to unsee," King said.
The suspect's name hasn't been released. Police said he has been taken to the hospital and arrested.
Charges related to the original domestic call will likely be pursued.
Updated: May 24, 2018 10:18 PM
Created: May 24, 2018 08:49 PM
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