Moorhead, Minn. (Valley News Live) UPDATE: 8:00 P.M.
A Moorhead man is facing a handful of charges including domestic assault following a nearly 9-hour long standoff with police.
It all started around 9 Tuesday morning when police were responding to a report of a domestic disturbance. The victim fled the residence to a neighbor’s house and called 911 reporting she had been physically assaulted, held against her will while her life was threatened adding he had possession of a firearm.
Officers quickly set-up a perimeter and the on-scene supervisor was able to make contact with him by telephone but he denied being at the house or having done anything wrong. Concordia College and Eventide Senior Living were notified of the situation due to their proximity to the scene, a neighborhood CodeRED was sent out along with media and social media notifications advising residents to shelter in place and/or avoid the area of town from 14 Ave S to 16 Ave S from 4 St S to 6 St S. Roads in this area were closed to traffic.
SWAT was called and negotiators made intermittent contact with the suspect throughout the day but he continued to say he was not home. The situation ended around 5:40 PM after tear gas was deployed into the house and he surrendered peacefully. There were no injuries in this situation.
Charges are being sorted out as the investigation continues but include domestic assault and threat-related charges. He also had a felony warrant out of Oneida, WI. The identification of the victim is not being released at this time.
UPDATE 6 P.M.: After almost 9 hours, the suspect responsible for today's stand-off in south Moorhead is in custody.
Moorhead Police say just before 6 p.m. Tuesday night, 35-year-old Blake Carl Fitzgerald surrendered to SWAT officials outside his home at 1423 5th St. S.
Moorhead Police say today they deployed four flash bombs, as well as had the SWAT robot and drone raid into the suspect's home all in an effort to continue communication with Fitzgerald. Police say throughout the stand-off, communication would stop on Fitzgerald's end.
The final straw for Fitzgerald came when law enforcement deployed gas into his home. Police say this was done just before Fitzgerald came out of his home with his hands above his head.
Police say they will continue investigating the incident, but residents are now allowed access back into their neighborhoods and homes.
Charges are pending.
UPDATE: It is now hour 6 of the standoff in Moorhead. The police have just set off the fourth flash-bang.
Our reporter on the scene has talked with a woman who lives on the same street this standoff is happening on. She says officers ‘are still all standing behind the SWAT car saying the same thing & asking him to surrender, but other than that nothing has changed. The swat car now is the driveway.’
Another neighbor tells me SWAT‘s in their backyard using a megaphone telling the man he’s under arrest & that they have a warrant for the house. ‘We want to end this peacefully, come out the front door with your hands up and surrender.’ He says officers keep saying that to him.
Original: Moorhead police confirm they are now using what they call flash sound diversionary devices. So they want to alert neighbors that if anyone hears a loud boom in the area of this scene, shots have not been fired. Moorhead Police say They were previously communicating with the armed suspect inside the home, but haven’t heard from him in over an hour now. They are using the device to hopefully get his attention and talk with him again.
Original: It's a scary morning for people in South Moorhead near Concordia, homeowners are urged to shelter in place as police deal with standoff situation where the suspect has a gun.
Around 9:30 Tuesday morning, police blocked off 5th St. S. between 14th and 16th Ave. S. Over time, that police presence grew and the SWAT team was called in. Officers are spotted wearing tactical gear with their guns drawn.
Now, 5th St. S. between 14th Ave. S. and 18th Ave. S. is completely blocked off. 5th St. S. is the one-way heading North. The situation is happening just one block from Concordia College.
A security alert has been issued for the college.
An initial call said there was a domestic disturbance involving a man with a gun and a woman. The woman was able to escape the home safely, the man is still inside.
Police are now trying to negotiate with the man in the house for a peaceful surrender.
People are urged to stay away from that area of town as police try to resolve the situation.
Stay with Valley News Live as we continue to investigate.