Skip to main content

Man with sawed-off shotgun prompts lockdown at Minnesota schools

The scary situation happened a block from two schools.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

A man with a revolver and a sawed-off shotgun prompted a lockdown at two middle schools in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota Tuesday afternoon. 

Students from Detroit Lakes Middle School and Roosevelt Elementary were just getting out of school when the police encountered a man with weapons a block away, so the schools were ordered to rush students back inside and into lockdown mode, the Detroit Lakes Police Department says

It happened around 3:15 p.m. when employees from a Food-N-Fuel gas station a block from the schools reported a man who had been in his car in the parking lot for three hours. 

Police approached the vehicle and saw that the man had a silver revolver on him, prompting the officers to back off and wait for more enforcement to arrive. 

According to DL-Online, it took police 8 minutes to get the man to come out of the car, and when he did get out he wasn't compliant. No shots were fired and the man was eventually arrested. 

Inside his vehicle was another weapon: an illegal sawed-off shotgun. 

The man's been identified as James Poitra, 37, of Detroit Lakes. He's being held in the Becker County Jail and faces multiple charges: 

  • Felon in possession of a firearm
  • Possession of a sawed-off shotgun
  • Possession of dangerous weapon in school zone
  • Obstructing legal process with force
  • Miscellaneous drug charges

Next Up


Hospital chiefs say nursing strike will come at 'worst possible time'

A nurses union announced an almost three-week strike to take place in the Twin Cities.


Sven Sundgaard: What's in store for MN's weather in December?

Sundgaard recaps Minnesota's fall and looks ahead to December.


Manure spill in Wisconsin leads to hours-long main street disruption

The spill was first reported just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.


Ice Cube to perform 2 nights at Mystic Lake Casino

The rapper hasn't performed in Minnesota since 2018.


Nicollet Mall's new Ties Lounge & Rooftop closes 'indefinitely'

The establishment aimed to reconnect the downtown community.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.15.44 AM

Chinese restaurant closing after 50 years in Columbia Heights

The beloved family-owned restaurant will close Dec. 24.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.43.40 AM

Kris Laudien leaving KARE 11 after four years on 'Sunrise'

KARE 11 announced the appointment of Jason Hackett to the morning show this week.


MN's COVID update for the week ending Tuesday, Nov. 29

There are now more than 570 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota.


Twin Cities nurses to strike for 20 days starting Dec. 11

A strike in Duluth and Two Harbors doesn't have an end date set.


montana cutbank

Charges: Man shot victim 'without provocation' using sawed-off shotgun

The incident happened on Nov. 24 in Ten Lake Township, located in Beltrami County.

Lake Elmo school lifts lockdown; search continues for reported gunman

Oakdale Junior High School was locked down earlier Wednesday morning as police searched the area for a theft suspect. The man, who police believe may be armed, is still at large.

A man shooting at squirrels caused a 20-minute schools lockdown

A man was shooting at squirrels in his yard because he was upset with them. The incident caused schools and businesses in the area to go into lockdown.

Potato gun firing walnuts sets off police blockade, school lockdown

Police in New York Mills, Minn., got a report about "shots fired," so they set up a perimeter and locked down a nearby school. They later caught two people with a potato gun. One officer on the scene said: "When you use walnuts, it does sound like a shotgun."

Police lights

Search for bank robbery suspect prompts lockdown at MN school

Authorities believe the suspect robber a bank in Rochester, then tried to do the same in Pine Island.

Owatonna school placed in lockdown after racist social media posts

It led to altercations in the school gymnasium and commons area.