MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Minneapolis SWAT team had the go-ahead to use deadly force against a suspect who was threatening to shoot his three-year-old daughter in the head during a standoff with police last week.
Commander Scott Gerlicher said it was one of the most difficult situations he's ever had to deal with in his time with the Minneapolis SWAT team.
Police were in a standoff with an agitated father inside a home at 39th and Garfield Streets in Minneapolis. The father had been drinking heavily. He had a handgun and had threatened to shoot his three-year-old daughter in the head. Police had already been on the phone with the man for several hours when they heard two gunshots.
"That was an incredibly stressful situation for me on the end of the line not knowing the welfare of the child [and] not knowing the mindset up the subject or whether he did in fact shoot the child," Officer Nick Englund, who negotiated with the suspect, said.
Gerlicher said he gave the SWAT team the green light for the first time in his career, meaning if they had the opportunity they should take the suspect out immediate to save the child.
"That was one of the toughest positions I've been in a position to make.. it was the right decision, it was the necessary decision," Gerlicher said.
In the end, they never got the opportunity and had to go with the riskier plan be of storming the house. The team rescued the girl and arrested her 45-year-old father. He is in custody for domestic assault and making terroristic threats.