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Police: Neighborhood evacuation came after request for welfare check

BEMIDJI – A welfare check at a Bemidji home prompted police to evacuate residents from their homes Saturday night.

In a news release, Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin said officers responded to a welfare check request at a home on Central Avenue Southeast at 7:21 p.m.

Officers were told a man in the home “had several loaded handguns and a rifle, along with extra ammunition,” Mastin said in the news release.

Police attempted to contact the man and began evacuating residents. Mastin said in a phone interview that the man wouldn't talk to law enforcement.

In addition, the Headwaters SWAT Team was asked to assist.

“During the evacuation process, Bemidji police officers heard a single gunshot from inside the residence,” the release said.

The SWAT team approached the home, where a man was seen lying on a bed. Once in the home, SWAT members confirmed the man sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The man was pronounced dead on scene by the Bemidji Ambulance Service. 

Mastin said the investigation is ongoing and an autopsy would likely be completed by the end of the day Monday.

Other agencies providing support during the call were the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, Beltrami Office of Emergency Management, Headwaters Safe Trails Taskforce and Bemidji Fire Department.