UPDATE: suspect arrested: Armed standoff ends in Detroit Lakes
A 37-year-old man was arrested without incident after holding police at bay in a Detroit Lakes motel for nearly five hours.
David William Buethner, who has lived for the past four weeks at the Pine to Palm Motel on West Lake Drive in Detroit Lakes, was arrested and taken to the Becker County Jail about 8:30 p.m.
According to Detroit Lakes Police Chief Kel Keena, Buethner called the police himself about 3:45 p.m. Friday, saying he had been drinking for four weeks straight and was off his medication. A Detroit Lakes police sergeant responded and saw that he had a gun. In fact, after his arrest police found two long guns and two handguns, along with a large amount of ammunition.
The standoff resulted in the evacuation of the motel and nearby residences and businesses. A several block area of West Lake Drive, which parallels the Detroit Lakes City Beach, was closed to the public.
The Otter Tail County SWAT team, along with Detroit Lakes Police and Becker County Sheriff's deputies, contained the suspect.
Dan Ianiro, a Pine to Palm guest who said his room was near the suspect's room, said he was getting ready to leave the motel when he heard a police officer shouting "he's got a gun!"
After calling 911, he said the dispatcher advised him to leave the room as soon as possible through the back window.
"(The dispatcher) said don't go out the front, you have to go out the back," said Stacey Ianiro.
When he climbed out the back window with his wife on his back, he saw about 20 police officers pointing their weapons toward the motel.
Then he was told to head to Zorbaz restaurant down the road.
"All the guys with the automatic rifle weapons told us to come down here," Ianiro said.
Sarah Thunder, also a Pine to Palm guest, put her son in the shower after her kids were dropped off shortly after 3:30 p.m., when she decided to go out for a cigarette.
"That's when I heard, "Get the (heck) out!" said Thunder. "I couldn't find the voice where it came from, then I saw a cop holding a sniper gun in the back of the trees.
"It scared the (crap) out of me and I ran in and grabbed my son out of the shower. You didn't have to tell me twice."
Thunder said after that, a "storm of cops" came blazing in.
"The hotel was pretty full, too, and they got everyone out of there quick."
Authorities on the scene declined to comment on the situation, and reporters were not allowed near the command center, which was set up in the Becker County Fairgrounds.