Standoff ends in St. Michael after two days; suspect shot

A standoff in St. Michael that continued into Wednesday evening after nearly two days has ended. FOX 9 is working to confirm details from authorities what led to the incident ending.

Law enforcement has worked to apprehend a suspect who fired "several rounds" at authorities throughout an incident that began Tuesday.

In a news release just after 8 a.m. Wednesday, the sheriff's office said deputies responded to a gun complaint on Central Avenue West in St. Michael, with the reporting party saying a man and woman were arguing and the man was carrying a rifle. 

The man, Brandon Gardas, has active warrants for his arrest for domestic assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. At a news conference at 4 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said they're very familiar with the suspect, adding he has at least a long gun and a handgun. 

Around 8:30 p.m., deputies say they entered the home and, "after an armed confrontation," he was shot. Gardas was airlifted to the hospital. His condition is unknown.

The Minnesota BCA is now investigating the case. The Wright County Sheriff's Office is still asking residents to avoid the area.

No law enforcement officers were hurt during the incident.

The area around the home where the apparent standoff is occurring has been notified to evacuate "due to the volatile nature of this incident," the sheriff's office said. 

The public is being asked to stay clear of the area and several roads have been rerouted to keep the public safe, including County Road 35 to County Road 19. 

A nearby elementary school, St. Michael Elementary, has canceled classes Wednesday as a precaution. 

Charges say the standoff suspect has "doomsday room"

Prior to the recent standoff, criminal complaints show the man who police say is inside the St. Michael home, Brandon Gardas, was involved in two other confrontations with police at his home in 2020 and 2021.

The criminal complaint filed in Wright County shows police were called to the Gardas home in August 2020 for a domestic assault.

That time around, deputies were able to enter the home. Inside, they say they found "dozens of firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition" inside a room that deputies were told was Gardas' "doomsday room." The room was locked but police were able to breach the door to get inside, as they searched for Gardas. In the hallway leading to the room, police also found more ammo and soft body armor.

According to the charges, Gardas was found lying in the woods west of the home.

In October 2021, deputies went to Gardas' home for an outstanding warrant against Gardas. After deputies arrived, the charges state Gardas ran inside his home, sparking a standoff. With help from Gardas' wife, deputies were ultimately able to arrest him.

Inside the home, police found Gardas had a homemade Glock-styled 9mm handgun with an extended magazine and 20 hollow-point rounds. Deputies "dry-fired" the gun at the sheriff's department and say it fired as a Glock would.

In both cases, warrants were issued for Gardas' arrest in December 2021. There is no indication he was ever taken into custody.