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Alleged gun incident at Pillsbury ‘unfounded’

Owatonna, pillsbury, man with a gun, law enforcement
An Owatonna Police Officer stands with his weapon on the Pillsbury campus Tuesday afternoon. A report of a man with a gun drew a large law enforcement response.
Kay Fate, Staff Writer

More than two hours after a call to Owatonna Police reported a man with a gun on the Pillsbury campus, the incident has ended.

“It was unfounded,” said OPD Capt. Josh Sorensen.

“I think it was maybe more of a mental health (issue), or somebody who was not thinking clearly,” he said of the initial caller.

The claim was that a man had pointed “a long gun” at someone inside a building, and was still inside. The call came in about 11:50 a.m.

The first two floors of a former dorm on the campus were evacuated, said Police Chief Jeff Mundale. They were moved across the parking lot to the second former dorm.

Young people on the site who are attending summer camp were also kept clear of the scene, he said.

“They did a really good job – there was no movement here. They put them in the closest building and kept them in there, so they did a really nice job,” Mundale said.

“They were in a different building, locked down,” Sorensen said.

In addition to the Owatonna Police Department, officers from the Steele County Sheriff’s Office and Minnesota State Patrol responded.

“This is the way we like them to end,” Sorensen said.

Main Street between South Grove and Lincoln avenues was closed during the incident, which ended about 1:30 p.m.

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