Winona shelter-in-place order lifted, man arrested after attack

Law enforcement arrested a 25-year-old man after a shelter-in-place order was lifted in Winona on Monday night. 

The Winona Police Department said police responded to an assault around 5:20 p.m. Monday regarding an employee who was attacked with a sharp object at a business on the 250 block of Junction Street. The victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries. 

Police said the suspect, a 25-year-old man, fled the scene, and due to the "serious nature of the assault," a shelter-in-place order was issued as law enforcement attempted to locate the man. 

As law enforcement searched for the suspect, a citizen reported seeing a man crawling in the weeds around 9:30 p.m. near the 1100 block of Highway 61. Authorities located the suspect in the area and took him into custody. 

Officials say the alert was wrongly sent to a wider area than needed. In Facebook posts, some people in Winona reported not getting the alert at all. Winona County Emergency Management initially said the shelter-in-place order covered the west end of the city, between Vila and Pelzer streets. As of 8 p.m., the order had been lifted.

The Winona Police Department and Winona County Sheriff’s Office issued a joint statement about the issues with the alert:

"Emergency alerts are sent out by the Winona County Sheriff’s Office at the request of law enforcement agencies. During this incident, Winona PD requested a ‘shelter in place’, but due to the multiple alert platforms being utilized, several messages went out and caused some confusion. In addition, a different alert platform not utilized by law enforcement mistakenly sent out a message regarding an ‘active shooter.’ We apologize for the confusion caused by the emergency alert systems in this case. The Winona Police Department and Winona County Sheriff’s Office are working together to identify areas for improvement." 

The 25-year-old man remains in custody at the Winona County Jail. He has not been officially charged as of Tuesday morning.