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City of Isle was on late-night lockdown - MessAge Media: Crime Courts

City of Isle was on late-night lockdown

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Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 6:00 am | Updated: 2:31 pm, Wed Mar 13, 2019.

Stand-off with law enforcement ended with a fatality

(Editors note: This story has been updated as of March 13 with additional information)

The City of Isle was put on lockdown during the early morning hours of Sunday, March 10 as a suspect with a gun was reported to be at large. The suspect fired a weapon at law enforcement who returned fire. Officer negotiations with the suspect ended with the shooter allegedly taking his own life.

The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement Sunday afternoon. According to the statement, a 911 call was received reporting a possible Domestic Assault No Contact Order violation in the city of Wahkon at around 10:36 p.m., Saturday, March 9. While investigating the possible DANCO violation, a Mille Lacs County Deputy and an officer from the Isle Police Department contacted the suspect at his place of residence on the 600 block of Hennepin Avenue, Isle, at around 12:14 a.m., Sunday, March 10.

According to the statement, shots were fired at the officers from inside the residence during the initial contact with the suspect. A Mille Lacs County Deputy returned fire before going for cover.

After the shots were fired, law enforcement officers from nearby agencies arrived to assist with the situation.

According to the statement, Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office negotiators were in contact with the suspect who was inside the house. Negotiating continued with the suspect for over four hours. During that time, officers on the scene heard a shot fired from inside the house. Law enforcement officers went inside the residence and located the suspect deceased.

The case has been turned over to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for investigation which is standard operating procedure, according to Mille Lacs County Sheriff Don Lorge. No further information was released and the county did not identify the victim.

(March 13 UPDATE)

From the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

A Mille Lacs County deputy who discharged his firearm during an incident in Isle, March 10, has been identified. Deputy Brandon Armstrong has been in law enforcement for four years, including the last three with the Mille Lacs County Sherriff’s office. 

In addition, the deceased individual has been identified by the Midwest Regional Medical Examiner’s Office. Ricky Pendegayosh died of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the medical examiner. 

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the officer involved shooting. When the BCA’s investigation is completed, the BCA will turn its case file over without recommendation to the Mille Lacs County Attorney’s Office for review.


During the early morning hours of Sunday, March 10, some Isle residents were notified by the sheriff’s office by a ‘Code Red’ Public Service Announcement via telephone recording that said, “All residents of Isle [who] receive this message, should stay indoors, lock windows and doors due to a police matter. You will be advised when there is an all clear. Thank you.”

Mille Lacs County Sheriff Don Lorge said the PSA service allows the sheriff’s office to basically draw a circle in a three-mile radius around a certain address and the message will go out to the phone numbers within the circle. Due to cell service towers and providers, not all residents are able to receive the messages. That is not something the sheriff’s office has any control over, he added.

Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office also posted the following on their Facebook page:

“The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s and the Isle Police Department are dealing with an incident in the area of Hennepin Avenue South in the City of Isle. If you live in this area please stay indoors and make sure your house is secured. Information is limited at this time as this situation is very fluid. Please stay where you are and know that law enforcement may be in close proximity to your residence. Further information will be provided as it comes in. Thank you.”

Sometime around 6 a.m. the sheriff’s office issued a statement on Facebook giving the “all clear” and an all clear Code Red PSA was sent via phone as well.

Monica Weets, of Isle, was bartending at the Isle Municipal Bar on Saturday, March 9. She said she had given last call at around 12:30 a.m. Shortly after that the bar received the recorded call from the sheriff’s office. Weets said, shortly after that Isle Police Chief Mark Reichel came into the bar and advised that everyone in the bar stay put and not go outside, and should not return to their homes if they lived in the neighborhood.

There were a few patrons still in the bar at the time, according to Weets. Some of them had been receiving messages from other friends and family and soon found out about the shooter situation going on in the nearby neighborhood. They also learned the suspect was a relative of some at the bar. “They were shocked and sad and worried at the same time,” Weets said.

Weets said she contacted the mayor and councilor Monica Keding about the situation. “I wanted to make sure I wasn’t violating any city policy,” Weets said. She was advised she wasn’t. Mayor Rodney Schultz was in contact with Weets throughout the ordeal making sure everyone was OK. Weets and the patrons stayed in the bar as they were advised to do so by law enforcement. She served them pizza, pop and water while they waited to be cleared to leave. They were given the all clear at about 5:50 a.m., Weets said.

“It was a long night,” Weets said. A couple of [the patrons] fell asleep for a little while. I stayed awake to keep an eye on the bar.”


Mille Lacs County Sheriff Don Lorge expressed “great appreciation” to the following agencies for their assistance: Isle, Onamia and Tribal Police Departments, county sheriff’s offices from Aitkin, Crow Wing, Kanabec and Morrison, Minnesota State Patrol and the Mille Lacs Health System Ambulance Service.

The statement concluded stating: “The identity of the deceased is being withheld at this time pending positive identification by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office. Further details will be released at a later date issued by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.”

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