ST. CLOUD, Minn. — A suspect is in custody after an eight-hour-long standoff where several bank employees were held hostage inside a Wells Fargo bank in Minnesota Thursday night.
All five hostages were released from the St. Cloud, Minnesota, branch by 10:30 p.m. CT. No one was injured, police said.
Negotiators were working late in the evening to free them. At least four of the captives were released by 8:30 p.m. CT.
The first hostage was released to awaiting armed law enforcement at 6:30 p.m. CT Thursday evening, according to a video posted by a local TV reporter. In the video, someone inside also hurls what appears to be a wad of cash out the door, and the bills float in the air for several seconds.
Several dozen people had watched the spectacle at the bank from a safe distance. Many cheered when some of the hostages were released.
Police and FBI had worked with SWAT teams to watch over the bank.
“We can confirm a hostage situation at Wells Fargo’s St. Cloud South branch, located at 200 33rd Avenue South,” said Staci Schiller, Wells Fargo spokesperson. “We are cooperating with local law enforcement and will do whatever we can to assist the authorities in their investigation.
“We recognize this is a traumatic moment for the community and our colleagues. The safety and security of our customers and employees is our most important priority.”
The city is about 65 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
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Thursday afternoon, police were sent to a report of a possible robbery in progress at Wells Fargo Bank at 200-33rd Ave. S in St. Cloud, according to police.
Law enforcement officials initially said an unspecified number of hostages were being held by a male suspect.
St. Cloud resident Abdi Kadir told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune he was in the bank drive-through when the teller hurriedly told him to leave. As he drove off, he saw people running out the bank’s front door, he said.
Journalists on the scene report the presence of armored vehicles and squad cars from St. Cloud, Sartell and Sauk Rapids police, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office.
Contributing: Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY; Associated Press