ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Several bank employees are being held hostage inside a Wells Fargo bank and police are trying to negotiate their release with the help of the FBI.
A local TV reporter posted a video Thursday evening, showing a female hostage being released to awaiting armed law enforcement officers outside the front door of the bank. Someone inside also hurls what appears to be a wad of cash out the door, and the bills float in the air for several seconds.
Several dozen people are watching the spectacle at the bank from a safe distance. Many cheered when the female hostage was released.
St. Cloud police are negotiating with a suspect to release all employees, Lt. Lori Ellering said in a news release. The number of bank employees held hostage was unknown.
There were no reports of injures but police and FBI are working with SWAT teams to watch over the bank.
“We can confirm a hostage situation at Wells Fargo’s St. Cloud South branch, located at 200 33rd Avenue South,” said Staci Schiller, Wells Fargo spokesperson. “We are cooperating with local law enforcement and will do whatever we can to assist the authorities in their investigation.
“We recognize this is a traumatic moment for the community and our colleagues. The safety and security of our customers and employees is our most important priority.”
The city is about 65 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
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Thursday afternoon, police were sent to a report of a possible robbery in progress at Wells Fargo Bank at 200-33rd Ave. S in St. Cloud, according to police.
The FBI is assisting with the investigation and people are being asked to avoid the area.
Journalists on the scene report the presence of armored vehicles and squad cars from St. Cloud, Sartell and Sauk Rapids police, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office.