Hostages Freed Following Eight-Hour Bank Standoff


An eight-hour standoff at a bank in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on Thursday (May 6) ended peacefully after all five hostages were released and the suspect was taken into custody. Authorities received a 911 call from the manager of a Wells Fargo bank that a "disgruntled" customer was threatening the safety of the bank employees and other customers.

As police officers were en route to the bank, somebody set off the silent alarm indicating that a robbery was in progress. As customers fled the bank, the suspect, later identified as 35-year-old Ray Reco McNeary, took five bank employees hostage.

While a SWAT team and FBI agents geared up outside the bank, a crisis negotiation team and began attempts to end the standoff peacefully. After about four hours, McNeary agreed to release one of the hostages. Over the next two hours, three more hostages were released. Officials said that McNeary released some of them, while others managed to escape on their own.

At 10:20 p.m., one of the hostages appeared to make a run for it as the SWAT team stormed into the bank. McNeary was taken into custody and is facing charges of bank robbery and kidnapping. It is unclear if McNeary was armed during the robbery.

Authorities said that he was known to the police and had an "extensive" rap sheet dating back at least ten years. He was reportedly due in court on Thursday in connection with a violent offense.

Photo: Stearns County