ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Several bank employees are being held hostage inside a Wells Fargo bank and police are trying to negotiate their release with the help of the FBI.
Negotiators were working late into the evening – six hours into the standoff – to free all hostages. At least four of the captives were released as of 8:30 p.m. CT..
It’s unclear how many men and women remain inside the bank.
The reporter posted a video Thursday evening revealing a female hostage being released to awaiting armed law enforcement officers outside the front door of the bank. Someone inside also hurls what seems to be a wad of cash out the door, along with the bills float in the air for several seconds.
A brief time afterwards, another video in the exact same reporter showed a second female hostage being released and directed outside the bank. Two videos around 30 minutes later show a third and a fourth hostage walking out of the bank doors to police.
Several dozen people are seeing the spectacle in the lender from a safe distance. Many cheered when some of the hostages were released.
St. Cloud authorities are negotiating with a defendant to release all employees, Lt. Lori Ellering stated in a news release. The number of bank personnel held hostage was unknown.
There were no reports of injures but police and FBI are working with SWAT teams to watch over the lender.
“We can confirm a hostage situation at Wells Fargo’s St. Cloud South branch, located at 200 33rd Avenue South,” said Staci Schiller, Wells Fargo spokesperson. ” We’re cooperating with local law enforcement and will do whatever we can to assist the authorities in their search.
“We recognize that this is a traumatic moment for the community and our coworkers. The security and safety of our clients and employees is our most important priority. ”
The city is about 65 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
Today’s COVID-19 upgrades :Moderna says its vaccine is 96% effective in teens
Thursday afternoon, police were sent to a report of a potential robbery in progress at Wells Fargo Bank in 200-33rd Ave. S in St. Cloud, according to authorities.
The FBI is assisting with the investigation and people are being asked to avoid the region.
Journalists on the scene report the presence of armored vehicles and squad cars from St. Cloud, Sartell and Sauk Rapids police, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office.