Dodge County Sheriff Jim Jensen talks to the press.
By Tara Lindquist
The Dodge County Sheriff's Department received a report of shots fired in Dodge Center around 11:30 Thursday morning. Dodge County Sheriff's Department blocked off Dodge County Road 34 during the incident and area homes were evacuated or secured.
According to Dodge County Sheriff Jim Jensen, the caller stated there was a man walking around outside shooting a gun. Initials reports were that the gun was a shotgun but law enforcement later confirmed that it was rifle. Scanner reports stated law enforcement confirmed the suspect had many other guns inside his residence.
The suspect was inside his home when deputies arrived and Sheriff Jensen was able to make contact with the suspect via phone and talk to him. "I've known him for many years," he explained during a press briefing this afternoon. "He trusts me and I trust him, I asked him to put the guns down and stop shooting." Jensen reported there were no more shots fired after that. In recent days Jensen has had contact with the individual and says he did not notice him acting out of the ordinary but did mention he is a Vietnam Vet and has made mention that he thought the country was under attack. Jensen also added the suspect's son committed suicide around this time of year, and he was not certain what caused today's events. "When he came out of the house, he put his rifle down and sat on the ground like I had asked him to do on the phone," Jensen said. "He was taken into custody and transported to St. Mary's Hospital for evaluation." The suspect did admit to Jensen that he was in need of help.
Jensen could not say for sure whether the suspect was allowed to own guns or what his criminal history was. At this time the suspect's name is not being released and it is unclear if charges will be filed against the suspect. "I'll talk it over with the county attorney before any decision is made."
Jensen was asked if the suspect seemed remorseful when he surrendered himself, "No, he just seemed like himself," he answered.
Dodge County Sheriff's Department, Minnesota State Patrol, Olmsted County SWAT Team all assisted at the scene. Jensen also confirmed local ambulances were on stand by and Mayo One had been notified in case the situation escalated.