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Man threatens suicide, police intervene

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The call at 8:27 p.m. March 4 to the dispatcher at the Dakota Communications Center said a 27-year-old man had committed suicide by shooting himself.

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Fortunately, he had not, but he had left the residence in the 31st and Cannon street neighborhood, and he was believed to have a weapon with him. He was later found, unharmed, in a vehicle near 17th and Vermillion streets.

Hastings Police, however, believed they were responding to a completed suicide when they arrived at the residence. No one was in the residence.

Officers decided to secure the area.

With the assistance of Dakota County deputies, the canine officers and a State Patrol helicopter, a search of the area was initiated. Because the individual was believed to be carrying a weapon, the decision was made to restrict access to the area and create a perimeter, Hastings Police Chief Mike McMenomy said.

"Plus, too, with the helicopter, the infrared light is able to detect body heat of a person," he said. "We secured the area."

The area was not evacuated. Rather, officers, when approached, told residents to stay in their houses. Motorists weren't allowed into the area for several hours.

As officers looked for the man, he contacted them on his cell phone, according to McMenomy.

"He said he was driving around, and was not going to harm himself or anyone else," McMenomy said. The search continued.

At 3:27 a.m. Friday, the man was located in his vehicle (and with a gun) near 17th and Vermillion streets. He was unharmed. A Hastings officer transported him to Regions Hospital in St. Paul for a psychiatric evaluation.

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