Here’s how the St. Cloud Wells Fargo hostage situation unfolded

The suspect has been arrested and all five hostages are safe.
Publish date:

A 35-year-old suspect is in custody and all five hostages are safe after an eight-hour standoff at a Wells Fargo bank branch in St. Cloud Thursday. 

"A peaceful resolution, the best outcome we could have today," St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said at a press conference late Thursday, noting no one was hurt. 

Anderson said the manager at the bank at 200 33rd Ave. S called 911 at 1:48 p.m. because there was a customer — the suspect — who was disgruntled about a prior transaction with the bank. The manager was worried about people's safety.

"We don't know anything more specific about what that dispute was," Anderson noted. 

A short time later, police received a panic alarm from the bank, indicating there was a robbery in progress. Several people, including customers, had fled the bank before police arrived but five bank employees remained inside with the suspect. 

The suspect immediately asked police to bring in the FBI, Anderson said, which they did. 

FBI crisis negotiators worked for hours toward a resolution. The suspect released some of the hostages, while others ran for the door and made it out safely, Anderson said. 

The first hostage was released around 6:30 p.m., with a second hostage leaving the bank around 7 p.m. The third and fourth hostages exited the bank around 8 p.m., the St. Cloud Times reports.

At about 10:25 p.m., when the last hostage made a run for the door, the FBI tactical unit made simultaneous entry into the bank and took the suspect into custody without incident, Anderson said. 

Throughout the eight-hour standoff, law enforcement had contact with the suspect in "every way possible," Anderson said, noting they even wrote notes and put them up against the drive-through window.

It's unclear if the suspect was armed. As of Thursday night, officials hadn't located a gun but they were still processing the scene. 

Anderson confirmed the suspect posted video from inside the bank on social media, which "made the job a little bit difficult." Meanwhile, a crowd of more than 200 people gathered in nearby parking lots to watch the situation unfold, the St. Cloud Times said. 

St. Cloud officials and the FBI touted the collaboration between the agencies and mutual aid partners during the incident.

Charges are pending

The suspect was known to police and was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday for a violent offense, Anderson said.

"We have had numerous contacts with this individual dating back at least a decade, including violent crime," he added. "... This guy has an extensive criminal history."

Minnesota court records show past convictions for terroristic threats, domestic assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct. He was also arrested in March on suspicion of felony domestic assault and had a warrant for terroristic threats, the St. Cloud Times says.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and charges against the suspect are pending. 

Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall said at Thursday's news conference she has been in contact with the U.S. Attorney's Office about whether to charge the suspect in federal court given his criminal history and that there were five hostages in involved. 

The suspect is being held in Stearns County Jail.

Note: Some of the details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.

Next Up

Flickr - mosquito skin - Jim STauffer

Mosquito levels remain low - but there's some bad news

Get ready to learn about Culex mosquitoes and West Nile Virus.

Dychaun Chew - South High School Facebook

Charges: Driver was going 55 mph, blew stop sign in crash that killed teen

High school sophomore Dychaun Lavonte Chew died after being hit.

Max Kepler

Twins' 8th-inning rally ruined in the 9th as bullpen woes resurface

The Twins scored five runs in the eighth before the bullpen unraveled in the ninth.

Flickr - 148th Fighter Wing - Pete Markham

Air National Guard: Don't be alarmed if you hear fighter jets

The 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth is doing some scheduled night flying.

Lauri Anne Deatherage

Charges: Man killed ex-wife because she got remarried

He sent videos explaining his decision to family members, charges state.


Bicyclist killed in crash with truck near Rochester

The truck apparently collided with the bicyclist near an intersection.

section foreman house wayzata

Minnesota's 20 newest additions to the National Register of Historic Places

The state preservation review board will soon consider additional properties for the National Registry, including a steamboat.

jason beckman booking photo June 22 2021

Charges: Man who killed SCSU professor had knocked to ask for help

The suspect had gotten lost and crashed, and told investigators he'd been having delusions.

Thighstop - news release photo

Amid wing shortage, chicken chain launches new chicken thigh meal deals

Prices for chicken wings have skyrocketed over the past year.


Legislature approves $220K bill for swimming lessons, lifeguard training

The funding would help at-risk and low-income children learn to swim, as well as address lifeguard shortages.


Screen Shot 2021-05-06 at 6.12.41 PM

Hostage situation over in St. Cloud, suspect in custody

Five bank workers were held hostage, but released safely.

Ray McNeary

Charges: St. Cloud bank robber wanted to 'go viral,' become 'a martyr'

Police were in a standoff with him at the Wells Fargo bank for more than 8 hours.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Brooklyn Park standoff: Suspect kills himself, child taken hostage is safe

The standoff ended Thursday night when the suspect shot himself.

st. paul bank robbery suspect

FBI's appeal to identify suspect who held up bank in St. Paul

The suspect walked into a bank, pulled out a gun and demanded money.

Mendota Heights bridge

Man shot dead by police after hostage situation on Mendota Bridge

The female victim wasn't seriously injured, police said.

Keisa Lange

Tributes to woman 'violently taken from her family' in St. Cloud

She was found dead at the side of a road, with no arrests made in her killing.

Wells Fargo

Affordable housing, bank planned for Wells Fargo site damaged in May riots

The bank branch was demolished last month after being heavily damaged in the riots last May.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Man found dead in St. Cloud ID'd as 25-year-old, death 'suspicious'

A passerby found the man's body Saturday night in a vacant lot near the St. Cloud Regional Airport.