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Suspect slipped away before 3-hour standoff, police say

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Authorities say a three-hour standoff at a western Minnesota pharmacy ended after SWAT team members swept the building and found no one inside – because the suspect had apparently fled before the standoff began.

Police, SWAT and other law enforcement agencies responded to the Thrifty White Drug Store in Breckenridge about 30 seconds after they got a 911 call about an attempted robbery just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, Police Chief Nate Harder told KFGO.

Officers told Valley News Live a man walked in with a gun and pointed it at one of the employees.

Harder said there was mass confusion as employees and customers fled the store. Before police secured the building, the suspect apparently slipped away without police realizing, Harder told KFGO.

A three-hour standoff followed, before heavily armed officers entered the store and found no one there.

Harder confirmed there was no contact between law enforcement and the suspect during the standoff, Wahpeton Daily News reports. Roads were temporarily closed during the standoff, which drew a big crowd from residents in Breckenridge, located about 50 miles south of Fargo, KVRR reports.

No one was injured, and police aren't sure if anything was actually stolen from the pharmacy or if any shots were fired, Valley News Live says. Investigators say they have a person of interest, but no charges have been filed.

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