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Park Rapids standoff ends with house being gassed and two brothers arrested

A standoff at this home in Park Rapids ended Wednesday morning. (Sarah Smith /Enterprise)

PARK RAPIDS - Two brothers were arrested after authorities tear-gassed a house to end a standoff this morning in Park Rapids, Minn.

A 47-year-old man, described by Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers as the boyfriend or husband of the brothers' mother, was shot in the leg. The injury was serious but not believed to be life-threatening, he said.

About 20 officers from several agencies responded to the converted apartment house in Park Rapids after a report of shots fired there shortly after 1 a.m., Eilers said.

According to the chief:

Police had already been looking for the brothers - both recently released from prison and well-known to law enforcement - after people reported hearing shots fired in town around 8 and 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Police were first called to the house in the northwest part of town at midnight for a report of shots fired there, but officers found no one around the house, and the lights were off inside.

Another call of shots fired and a fight on Lake Avenue came in shortly after 1 a.m.

Officers arrived and were told by a female witness that a man was being held hostage and possibly being threatened with a gun. At that time, shots were heard and a 47-year-old man exited the house with a gunshot wound to the leg. He was taken by North Ambulance to St. Joseph's Hospital in Park Rapids hospital and then transferred to a Detroit Lakes hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The shot to his lower leg apparently broke the bone, Eilers said.

The mother came out of the house hollering about the man being shot. Officers led her away from the house, and a standoff with the brothers ensued for the next four hours as they went in and out of the house.

"A gun was being waved, several knives were being waved, threats made to officers," Eilers said. "One of the individuals was standing in the middle of the street, wanting officers to shoot him, waving a gun around."

No shots were fired after officers arrived on scene. The upstairs apartment of the converted house and the houses surrounding it were evacuated, their occupants taken to the law enforcement center in Park Rapids.

Officers eventually tear-gassed the house about 5:30 a.m. One brother was taken into custody outside the front door, the other in a back room of the house.

The brothers, ages 31 and 39, were intoxicated, Eilers said. Both were being held in the Hubbard County Jail.

Charges are pending with the county attorney's office, and their names are expected to be released later today, he said.

The roughly 20 officers who took part in the standoff included a tactical team made up of officers from the Wadena and Hubbard counties' sheriffs' departments and Sebeka and Menahga police departments, as well as Minnesota State Patrol troopers. The Park Rapids Fire Department was on standby as the house was gassed, Eilers said.