Updated: Man Killed in Shootout with Woodbury Police During Hostage Standoff at Red Roof Inn

The incident happened during the early-morning hours of Friday, Aug. 31.

Further updates:

Update: 11:15 a.m., Friday, Aug. 31

Details of the hostage standoff that left one man dead after being shot by police and another in custody were still unclear Friday morning.

Investigators are not sure what was going on in the room, and still don’t know who is a victim and who is a suspect. Some of the individuals involved—men and women—were assaulted.

“We know that there was a lot of criminal activity going on in that hotel room,” Public Safety Chief Lee Vague told reporters in front of the Red Roof Inn. “Serious criminal activity.”

There were about 12 people in the room at the Red Roof Inn at the time of the incident, said Drew Evans, senior special agent with the BCA.

“The events that transpired are complex,” he said.

Neither Vague nor Evans could elaborate on the nature of the crimes that led to the incident.

A gun was pointed at officers and a shot was fired, and police shot a man who later died at Regions Hospital.

The dispatcher who took the 911 call at about 1:10 a.m. Friday morning heard sounds of a struggle, Vague said.

The Washington County SWAT team was later able to negotiate a successful surrender early Friday morning, though authorities rehearsed an entry in another hotel room beforehand, Vague said.

Regarding the officers involved in the shooting, Vague said, “I trust their judgment.”

The BCA is assisting in the investigation and will also conduct an investigation of the shooting.

The last officer-involved shooting in Woodbury was about two years ago, Vague said, and there were two that year. Before that it had been a decade since the last time a Woodbury officer shot a suspect.

“This is a tough day for us,” Vague said.

Check back for further updates.

Update: 9:30 a.m., Friday, Aug. 31

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has confirmed that a hostage situation led to officers shooting and killing a person at the Red Roof Inn early Friday morning.

Officials from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were processing the scene and Woodbury police were interviewing people at the motel.

One of the Red Roof Inn buildings was completely cordoned off.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is leading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting. A news conference is set to start shortly, where officials will provide an update on the investigation.

Original story

A person was killed in a shootout with Woodbury police at the during the early-morning hours of Friday, Aug. 31.

Police were called about a disturbance at the motel at about 1:10 a.m. this morning.

As they were investigating, a shot was fired and three officers returned gunfire, according to a release from the city.

Just before 5 a.m., the Washington County SWAT team took one suspect into custody, the release says. Additional people from the motel room are being interviewed.

The person who was shot was taken to Regions Hospital, was pronounced dead there, and was then transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office.

No officers were injured during the initial shooting incident, though one SWAT team member was treated for a minor injury during the tactical operation, according to the release.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is conducting the investigation. The identity of the police officers involved will not be released until after they are interviewed by the BCA. All three officers will be placed on paid administrative leave.

Patch will report more information as it becomes available.


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Randy Marsh August 31, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I can assure you I have been around longer than the cartoon.
A City Resident September 01, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Thinking about the Police officers involved and their coworkers. What heartache they must be feeling over this situation. I know they are tough and choose the job; but no one ever wishes to be in a shooting. Prayers of calmness and peace sent to the entire Public Safety Department. Thank you for keeping our City safe.
wwms September 01, 2012 at 01:36 AM
It may not be a homeless overflow shelter, but there are certainly homeless individuals and families that call it home for weeks and months at time. I'm not sure where else in the area they would go. It's affordable, doesn't require a downpayment or a credit check, unlike renting.
Mjo September 01, 2012 at 02:03 AM
It is a cesspool!! Mr. Marsh get a LIFE and stop stirring the pot. You sound like a drug pusher yourself. You want to sound bad a#% but come across dumb a%#!
Randy Marsh September 01, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I am not a drug pusher, Mjo, just a realist. Kids in Woodbury do drugs and occasionally steal from others to support their usage and that will not stop. Easier access to recreational drugs is simply safer for all involved. Here's a news flash for some of you Utopians, your kids are not always where they say they are (especially Eric Berg's).
Eric Berg September 01, 2012 at 11:34 AM
So, tell me where my kids are, since you "know". I know where mine are. Don't ever project YOUR lack of morals upon my family again, you troll. As a son of a police officer and with friends and family who counsel recreational and harder drug abusers, I know that the "easier access to recreational drug is simply safer" is an utter falsehood. I've seen the damage that these so-called recreational drugs can do. I've seen the ruined lives and families. As a planner, I've seen what happens to neighborhoods where recreational drug use becomes rampant. Property values go down, maintenance goes down, and it become unsafe. You are a utopian. I live in the real world. You know, the one where people try to make things safer, not the one where people get high and say that everything would be better if it would be easier to get high. That's one of the many differences between you and I, "Randy Marsh" In my world, the real one, I work to make things safer and better for myself and others. In yours, the addled one, you just want to make it easier to get high. To everybody except perhaps you, this is painfully obvious.
Eric Berg September 01, 2012 at 11:38 AM
I think that we are trying, in our own way, to find a solution to the problem that the PD faces. As the son of a retired police officer, I know that they depend on their fellow officers to help keep them safe, they depend on their supervisors and the City to provide them the best equipment, tactics, and training. They depend on us as citizens to do our part by obeying the laws and keeping a heads-up for criminal activity. We can't make the equipment better, we can't make the criminals dumber, but what we can do is try to remove the barriers to safety.
Barb Arend September 01, 2012 at 01:02 PM
It is so easy to tell who has it together and who doesn't. Those of us who suggest shutting the place down only want what is best for the community. It would be ridiculous to believe there is no crime here, however, what is so wrong with wanting to clean it up? Unless, of course, you are part of the problem ! oh! GOOD JOB, MR. BERG!! WELL SAID!
Melane Gustavson September 01, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Something needs to change at this location - whether it is closing it down or rehabbing. There is too much crime and now someone has lost their life. Plus, every time the police officers respond to a call, there or anywhere, their life is at risk. This is a known problem location and by keeping it as is, we are allowing our police officers to be subjected to more risk than necessary. The headlines are talking about the man who lost his life, which is a tragedy, but nothing is mentioned about the police officers directly involved. They are struggling too and need everyone's support.
tired September 01, 2012 at 02:01 PM
This is the hotel my daughter used to frequent. Why? Well, some nice older men introduced her to the place when she was around 15. It's a training ground for thugs and forced prostitution. I don't think you can blame the "place" itself. Blame the people. Blame the young people committing these crimes. A closer look at they and their lives will reveal the problem. It's painfully obvious and so sad.
Softball88 September 01, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Please I am not a resident of woodbury nor have I ever been to to the motel to know and understand what exactly is going on in that area .But I would like to say after having 130 911 calls to that specific hotel from January to end of August and 24 calls in the last 2 weeks...it's time to shut it down. There is only one reason I'm mchoosing to get involved in this horrible incident, My daughter's father travels to Minnesota quit often..and do to working late he was not able to go.through priceline to get a hotel.(they have a cutoff time of 10:00) so not knowing the area that well decides to stay at the "roof" the exact night/morning this all happen.he was there...!!!! Please, please
Randy Marsh September 01, 2012 at 08:26 PM
As the son of a police officer and someone with friends and family who counsel drug abusers, Mr. Berg, I hope you'll ask them how many times they've heard a father say, "Not my kid." I guess ignorance is bliss. I want no part of your world where you would rather put people on the street and eliminate jobs for those working at the hotel, presumable some of whom may support families with that income. Then again, I shouldn't doubt a planner because certainly those 12 years of schooling are required to know what causes property values to go down. Your lack of tolerance is part of the problem, which is actually funny because you live in Woodbury of all places.
Eric Berg September 02, 2012 at 12:27 AM
I agree. I keep hoping he's a troll because it's hard to believe that someone can exhibit such a lack of common sense. He understands the denial part of addiction, but not the projection part, which is what he is doing, along with feeble attempts at guilt tripping. Regardless of the reason or rationale, I hope that he gets the help that he needs. I was really hoping that he was doing some sort of satire, because then it could be somewhat amusing, but as it is, it's pretty pathetic and debating him is about as easy and worthless as sandblasting a soda cracker.
Randy Marsh September 02, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Thanks for proving my point. Not your kid, I get it. Best of luck to you Wally and the Beaver.
Rob September 02, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Someone posted the Red Roof Inn is for sale. I would ask anyone within the City Council reading this post to consider raising money to purchase the property to rid Woodbury of this troublesome area. I would even be happy if my taxes went up to purchase this property. Safety is more important than money. I moved to Woodbury a few years ago because I thought it was a safe place to raise my kids. Today I asked my wife if we could sell in 5 years to move to an area where I do not worry about the safety of our children.
Eric Berg September 02, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Yawn. You've proven your point that you're a troll. Go find a new bridge
Michael M. September 02, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Wow...all I have to say is WOW. Nobody seems to be thinking of an innocent Teenager who lost his life because of some trigger happy police. I'm sorry to be even making a comment on here right now. But I had a brother who stayed there that night who was 3 doors down from the hostage room. Just makes me sick to read half of these post on here....especially the one stating "you should tell the Woodbury police thank you". Thank you for what, shooting an unarmed man. I wish I could post pictures on here. My brother took plenty of them and pictures say a thousand words. This case is far from over and WOODBURY POLICE have a lot of explaining to do and some major lawsuits coming there way. And all you people can do is talk about what a great job there doing or destroy the Red Roof in. Look at the big picture people.
Kelley C September 02, 2012 at 06:58 AM
Mr berg is the "nice older gentleman" who lured the 15 year old. If we close his white trash world, where will he go ? What will he do? Michael, innocent??? Lol. Don't hang out in hotels with people who pull guns on cops, that's common sense. It's incrediably sad, yes, but innocent, NO!! What's innocent is mr berg luring a 15 year old girl into illegal prostitution. If you don't reside here or pay taxes here, you don't get an opinion.
Eric Berg September 02, 2012 at 12:07 PM
It appears that I've struck a nerve with the people who want to appease the criminal element. That's fine. I want a safe community, and you don't have one by allowing criminals an undisturbed base of operations. If you kick them out of the Roof, they're going to go to another cheap hotel, probably one close enough to the main highways to be convenient, but somewhat secluded in a commercial/industrial zone like the Roof...so that their actions aren't easily noticed and monitored. There seems to be a fallacy among some that if you give them an area, they won't expand. Not true. If that were the case, we could just create one town for criminals and the rest would be absolutely safe. Trigger happy police? Hardly. From current indications, shots were fired because the victim, either wittingly or unwittingly, associated with those committing criminal acts, including brandishing and firing a weapon. Maybe he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe he was just trying to get out without being caught...point is, when you're told to get down and freeze by the police, you do so....even if you're a hostage because then they can put themselves between you and the gunman for YOUR safety. The WPD did their job to the best of their abilities in a high stress, high stakes environment. I, like other right thinking people, wish that the teenager hadn't been killed...but it's easy to Monday Morning Quarterback days after the event.
Kim Lemrick September 02, 2012 at 12:17 PM
The only nerve you've struck is apparently with the people who frequented "The Roof". I think the majority will agree with you that it is better to find away to see that place closed for business. Unfortunately when you stand up for something you also take the chance of attracting heat from those you stand against.
Paul Whackernutz September 02, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Hope Clint paid the liability insurance premium on time.
John Erickson September 02, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I think the best thing that could happen is an order of abatement on the property. It's an ongoing problem. Time to end it. Minnesota’s Public and Private Nuisance Laws: General Public Nuisance Activity What types of activity are considered a public nuisance? In general, Minnesota’s public nuisance law defines “nuisance activity” to include either one behavioral incident or two separate behavioral incidents committed within a building within the previous 12 months. One incident of any of the following activities is sufficient to constitute a public nuisance: 1. prostitution or prostitution-related activity 2. unlawful activity involving controlled substances (drugs) 3. unlawful use of a dangerous weapon http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/nuislaws.pdf
kala tokheim September 04, 2012 at 06:13 PM
it wasnt a great job at all... Mark didnt deserve it at all!!! the man holding them should have been killed not an innocent Man , but if it was to be a white man runnin out they would have hesitated to shoot!!!!!
Eric Berg September 04, 2012 at 07:07 PM
I'm not a lawyer, but I wonder if the bit about "multi-unit" buildings on the last paragraph of page three would cloud the issue. I think in the eyes of many, that would refer to apartments, but I could see a vigorous defense being raised to extend that to individual rooms of a hotel. The last paragraph on page 11 might also point out some difficulties: "While case law indicates a business should not be destroyed unless necessary to protect another’s rights, abatements have been ordered that have closed down legitimate businesses." From my reading of that sentence alone, that gives me a feeling that the court(s) are not going to necessarily act favorably upon such an action. It would be interesting to hear opinions on the feasibility of utilizing the nuisance laws.
steve r September 05, 2012 at 03:57 AM
liberals!! once again--blame the building. the building made meth, the building causes prostitution, the building fired the guns????? if the police would patrol this place more often, the criminals would leave. instead woodbury cops are sitting on 94 and 494 collecting revenue and harassing soccer moms shuffling their kid to games(actually involved with their children). doe this make any sense??
Kim Lemrick September 05, 2012 at 04:04 AM
I don't think anyone's blaming the building but rather questioning the business and those who run it because they don't have a handle on their business and the safety of their customers. Of COURSE the person to blame is the man who was charged. And if you've been paying attention at all (and from your comment I doubt it) you would know that the Woodbury cops have practicly LIVED at this location for the past few months. I don't live that far and I rarely drive by and not see a cop at that location, or sitting very near it. Most nights they are there. This is public knowledge and frequently discussed on this very website. And btw, the cops that patrol the interstate..those would be called "State Patrol".
Elizabeth Barton September 06, 2012 at 12:57 AM
The criticism of the police is appalling. These officers had a split second to react. There was a gun pointed at them, and then this guy runs out and DOES NOT OBEY their commands. They not only have to protect themselves but, their fellow officers and the rest of the public. How were they to know if he was a danger or not? Especially when he was not obeying them. You mean to tell me that if a gun was pointed at you and then someone ran towards you disobeying your commands to stop you would not use any kind of force? I find it hard to believe. It is a terrible tragedy that the young man was unarmed, but they had no way of knowing. And it is something that these officers will have to live with forever.
Laurie October 09, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Sorry but the cops did not have a gun pointed at them and they had enough time to see that the hostage they shot did NOT have a gun. The hostage was panicking and running towards the cops for help and to get away from the guy who was shooting at him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Laurie October 09, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Plus 10 to 12 shots in the body of the hostage that the police killed. I would say that number of shots was a few TOO many !!!!!!!!!
Melody Brown November 01, 2012 at 06:25 AM
i agree with laurie. deeply saddening that these officers will be given a celebration and or promotion of some sort. most likely a medal/trophy. a dozen shots at a very young man who was clearly not the threat in the situation? i truly hope that the witnesses can do something for this young man's family. very sad story. also shutting down red roof doesnt sound half bad.


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