Wright County Sheriff’s Deputies, St. Cloud SWAT teams and other officials have been on the scene of a standoff in the 500 Block of Central Avenue Northeast in St. Michael after a domestic dispute spiraled into a scene where a man fired multiple shots into the area around his residence Tuesday, June 21.
Witnesses say the domestic dispute was monitored throughout the day Tuesday. Authorities state the situation began to escelate around 7 p.m. Tuesday. Witnesses told Wright County Dispatch a man had been arguing with a female on the premises and was carrying a rifle. The man was identified as Brandon Gardas, 39, St. Michael. Gardas had holed up inside a building on the property, which has a residential home and multiple sheds for Gardas Cabinets, the family business.
Gardas continued to fire multiple rounds into the area, causing authorities to shut down County Road 35/Central Avenue west of Ditto’s Bar and east of the Central Avenue/St. Michael Parkway split.
The standoff continued throughout the night. Neighbors reported multiple gunshots, tear gas canisters fired into the area, and an evacuation that included multiple businesses, including bars and restaurants in downtown St. Michael.
Gardas, according to the county, has active warrants for his arrests prior to this incident, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and domestic assault.
Armored vehicles, multiple police units and SWAT teams remain on the scene as the hope is to peacefully apprehend Gardas on these warrants and any charges stemming from this incident, including firing on the officers.
Video from a follower shows an armored SWAT vehicle responding to the scene of the active standoff, with multiple others telling us they are continuing to hear gunfire, apparently fired by the suspect. pic.twitter.com/KM366G93qQ
— MN CRIME | Police/Fire/EMS (@MN_CRIME) June 22, 2022
Overnight, shots were fired intermittently, even as officers and negotiators used a loudspeaker to attempt to communicate with the man. Shots continued early morning on Wednesday, June 22.
Gardas’ wife is currently in custody, charged with harboring and aiding an offender to avoid arrest. She is in the Wright County Jail at this time.
The Gardas’ children were released from the scene Tuesday and are safe, authorities state.
NWCT will have more on this story as information becomes available and a resolution is reached.