The 44-hour standoff that shut down portions of St. Michael and placed dozens of police officers in harms way last week is over, but the consequences are just beginning for the suspect, 39-year-old Brandon Gardas.
The St. Michael man, who grew up just blocks away from the property where the showdown occurred, has been charged with multiple crimes from the standoff, including 1st Degree attempted murder of a peace officer, a crime that, if convicted, carries a penalty of 10 to 15 years in prison.
Gardas faces a host of other charges, including 2nd degree assault, 1st Degree criminal damage to property, terroristic threats, and a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, as well as multiple drug charges.
Warrants for Gardas’ arrest also included a pair of firearms charges.
Gardas wife, Chelsea Marie Gardas, 37, also of St. Michael, is in custody as well, charged with aiding an offender to avoid arrest.
The standoff started with a domestic disturbance call, but no charges have been filed from that dispute. A neighbor said the two – Chelsea and Brandon – were arguing in the early morning hours of June 21, with Brandon seen carrying a rifle on the property.
According to reports: Wright County deputies monitored the scene for hours, knowing Gardas was well-armed, had a history of violence, and had warrants out for his arrest. After making contact with Brandon Gardas in the afternoon hours of June 21, the man locked himself in the home and fired shots into the area and the neighborhood. By Tuesday evening, the standoff was on, with authorities surrounding the home and gunshots and other armaments exchanged throughout the night.
The stalemate ended in the 8 p.m. hour Wednesday, June 22, when law enforcement agencies made the decision to fire back at the man, 39-year-old Brandon Gardas, who had fired on them multiple times since things escalated Tuesday evening.
Officials struck Gardas, injuring him. He was transported by air ambulance for treatment at a local hospital.
Wright County released this statement:
The standoff in St. Michael has ended. Suspect Brandon Gardas has been shot, but is alive. He was airlifted to a hospital. All law enforcement officers are safe and uninjured. The Wright County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a press conference Thursday to provide more details