Standoff outside Rochester, Minn. shopping center ends with suspect's death

(FOX 9)

A standoff outside a Rochester, Minnesota shopping center ended tragically with the man apparently taking his own life, police say.

Police detailed the strange and tragic turn of events during a news conference Thursday evening, hours after the standoff began at 2 p.m.

It all started with the man involved making a 911 call, threatening himself and the police. Investigators were able to track him down in southwest Rochester, in a parking lot outside the T.J. Maxx off Salem Road.

It's a busy, congested area with multiple shops and restaurants in the area -- and not far from the Apache Mall. The standoff scene appeared to be just steps away from the KAAL television station, which is within the same plaza.

With the man armed and inside a vehicle, the standoff lingered for hours. During the situation, Rochester Police Chief Jim Franklin said it appeared the suspect was continuing to consume what they believed to be drugs.

At one point in the evening, police said the suspect fired a shot, apparently by accident. As negotiations failed, police then attempted to use less-lethal pepper balls to get the man to leave his vehicle. A short time later, officers heard another shot that appeared to be fired in the direction of police. Later, police determined the man was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Chief Franklin says no law enforcement officers fired shots during the incident.

No one else was injured during Thursday's events. The Minnesota BCA says they will be investigating the incident.