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Amy Dalrymple, Published March 13 2009

No one injured in north Fargo standoff

A standoff with a suicidal man in a north Fargo neighborhood ended peacefully when he voluntarily surrendered about 3:40 p.m. Thursday, police said.

Authorities received a call about 12:45 p.m. that a man at 802½ 16th Ave. N. was suicidal and armed, and that police would be met with resistance if they came to the residence, Sgt. Mark Lykken said.

The Red River Valley SWAT Team responded to the scene. Authorities negotiated with the man by phone until he surrendered. He had a firearm but didn’t use it or threaten anyone with it, Lykken said.

The man was not arrested but was taken to undergo a mental evaluation, he said.

Police did not identify the man, other than to say he is in his 40s. The caller who notified police lives at the residence but was not home during the standoff, Lykken said.

Authorities evacuated some nearby houses or asked people to go in their basements.

Police notified four schools in the area and North Dakota State University to take precautions so students didn’t walk by the house.

At nearby Ben Franklin Elementary School, students who live in the neighborhood were held at the building after class ended as usual at 3:25 p.m., unless their parents came to pick them up, said Betsy Beaton, assistant to Fargo Public Schools spokesman Lowell Wolff.

Holy Spirit Elementary released students from a different entrance as the school’s parking lot was being used as a police staging area.

“The students don’t even know anything is going on other than they’re being dismissed out of a different door,” Kotrba said.

North Dakota State University police sent out a text-message alert warning of a dangerous situation in the area of 16th Avenue North and Eighth Street North. The message advised staying away from the area until further notice.

Fargo Public Schools did not use their notification system because they only needed to notify parents who live in that area, Wolff said.

Forum reporters Mike Nowatzki and Dave Roepke contributed to this report.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590