Gunman arrested, Triton Public Schools lift lock down - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Gunman arrested, Triton Public Schools lift lock down in Dodge Center

DODGE CENTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- A man with a gun has been taken into custody after a two-hour drama in Dodge Center, with Dodge County Sheriff's deputies and Minnesota State Patrol officers cordoning off a city neighborhood and Triton Public Schools going into lock down.

It began about 11:15 a.m. Thursday in northeast Dodge Center, after reports that a man with a gun was firing it and acting erratically. 

According to Dodge County Sheriff Jim Jensen, this man was distraught and it might have had something to do with the passing of his son around this time years ago.

The emergency lasted nearly two hours and it even affected Triton Public Schools which went into "lock down" mode while police and deputies handled the threat.

When gunshots started ringing out in Dodge Center the calls started coming in to 9-1-1 and deputies surrounded the scene.

No one had been hit by gunfire.

Then after a nearly two-hour standoff the sheriff took action.  Teams converged on the front lawn of a man who had been shooting a high powered rifle from inside his home.  "He was shooting not at anybody but he was still shooting the rifle," said Sheriff Jensen.

Law enforcement had already been on scene.  The issue was that the gunman didn't want to see anybody who was in the law enforcement except for one man. And that turned out to be the Dodge County Sheriff.

"I've actually talked to him off and on in the last week or so on the phone about different things and he's been fine," said Jensen.

Sheriff Jensen found himself taking on the role of negotiator.  "He's known me. He trusts me. I know his word. If he says he's going to do something he'll do it," explained Jensen.

After getting ahold of the man's brother and neighbor, the team was able to talk the man into giving himself up and getting out of any danger.  "I gave him my word that nothing was going to happen to him and that he was going to get help," said Jensen.

Officers took the man into custody without anything terrible happening.  Witnesses explained they never would have expected this sort of behavior from such a likeable person.

"He's like the greatest guy you could meet," said long-time friend Sheri McGowan.  She drove to the scene when she heard it was happening.  "It is very out of his personality. Very out of his personality. This is not him at all."

Sheriff Jensen says the man is a Vietnam veteran who had said he feels America was under attack.

"I just hope Rocky gets the help that he needs," said neighbor Monte Mancini.  "And I didn't realize he was going through these kinds of problems other than the loss of his son."

The man who is now in custody has a lot of friends in Dodge Center, and say they're sure glad the whole incident ended peacefully.

Triton Public Schools notified parents a short time after it started they had gone into a lockdown mode as a precaution while the situation was being handled, and with the emergency over it was lifted as of 1:15 p.m.

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