Dad brought rifle into Vadnais Heights rink, alarming youth hockey fans

Ramsey County is now considering ways to prevent similar incidents like this from happening.

A hockey dad brought a gun into a Vadnais Heights arena last month, alarming families and prompting county officials to look into ways of preventing similar incidents.

The incident happened on Sept. 26 at the TCO Sports Garden. According to the Star Tribune, a dad had a rifle hanging on his shoulder when he walked his young son into the arena for a White Bear Lake Area Hockey Association event. Police were called to the arena.

And now Ramsey County, which owns the sports garden, is reviewing the county's weapons policies to deter similar incidents from happening, county spokesperson John Siqveland told Bring Me The News in a statement. 

"Ramsey County is taking this incident very seriously. This situation caused significant alarm among users of the arena facility in Vadnais Heights – including young children and their parents – and county employees," the statement said. 

The incident is being reviewed by the Vadnais Heights City Attorney's Office, which will consider if any laws relating to carrying a firearm without a permit were violated, the statement said. When asked about the status of the case, Mark F. Gaughan of Erickson, Bell, Beckman and Quinn told BMTN, "We have no comment at this time."

County staff and attorneys also plan to meet this week to discuss ways to deter similar incidents from happening in "all public facilities owned by Ramsey County in accordance with existing state law, county ordinance and Home Rule Charter."

Follow Bring Me The News on News Break

The White Bear Lake Area Hockey Association is also reportedly committed to making changes to prevent these incidents. In a letter to parents, which the Star Tribune obtained, the association said it's working with county officials and is updating association policies to state it has a zero-tolerance policy for weapons at hockey events. 

Meanwhile, Minnesota Hockey Executive Director Glen Andresen told BMTN it doesn't currently have a weapons policy, but the "board will be examining this and will be looking to put together a policy on it very soon."

In his eight years as executive director of the association that oversees youth hockey in Minnesota, Andresen is not away of any other incidents like this. 

BMTN has reached out to the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office and the White Bear Lake Area Hockey Association for comment.

The latest forecast from Sven Sundgaard

Next Up


Child hospitalized after drowning in Ham Like

Their current condition is not known.


Man dies after falling from pontoon, being swept under boat

Friends believe he struck the motor while under the boat.


Man drowns in St. Croix River at William O'Brien State Park

It's not clear what caused the 46-year-old to go under.


Man, 66, dies after his ATV was hit by a minivan on highway

It happened in Renville County Friday evening.

Screen Shot 2021-06-12 at 10.09.06 AM

Rochester suddenly shuts down recently opened parking ramp

Original plans for the parking lot included housing above it, but issues with construction prevented it from being built.

Mudcat Grant

Former Twins pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant dies at 85

Grant was a critical piece of the 1965 AL Championship team but did much more.

sprinkler water

Lake Elmo among latest MN cities to implement outdoor watering ban

The ban prohibits automatic or mechanical watering outdoors in an effort to conserve water during the period of extreme heat.

LRT trail in Hopkins.

Police: Suspect assaulted woman on LRT trail in Hopkins

They're asking for the public's help tracking him down.


chaska fire

Youth hockey league raises $60K for Chaska family who lost home in a fire

The family got out safely, but their dog died in the fire.

black bear

Sheriff: Numerous bear sightings in the north metro

Ramsey County has had quite a few bear sightings of late.

1 person dead in officer-involved shooting in Vadnais Heights

Few details about the incident have been released.


Charge: Treasurer embezzled $90K from youth hockey association

The money was allegedly stolen over a four-year period.

hockey rink ice arena

Masks required: Youth, high school sports games can begin Jan. 14

Additional guidance on games and spectators is forthcoming.

derek chauvin

Corrections officers of color file lawsuit, say they weren't allowed to guard Chauvin

Eight corrections officers at Ramsey County jail filed the lawsuit on Tuesday.

Security camera shows man staring at woman from outside her home

The Vadnais Heights woman said authorities have identified a person of interested.