A man who allegedly held five people captive during an eight-hour standoff at a Wells Fargo bank in St. Cloud, Minnesota, wanted a “big show,” authorities said.
Those held hostage in the bank said the suspect wanted the robbery to “go viral” and wanted to be a “martyr,” according to a criminal complaint filed in Minnesota district court Friday.
Ray Reco McNeary, 35, has been charged with one count of aggravated robbery, five counts of kidnapping, and one count of assault in the second degree. CNN is working to confirm if McNeary has an attorney.
St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said the situation found “the best possible outcome we could have had” Thursday, when four of the hostages were released or escaped and a fifth hostage “made a run for the door” right as tactical units from the St. Cloud Police Department and the FBI simultaneously entered and arrested McNeary without incident.
All of the hostages were bank employees, according to police. They are uninjured and are safely at home, said St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis.
Details of the standoff are released by authorities
The complaint states that McNeary arrived at the bank on Thursday upset about alleged fraud on his account. When the bank manager brought McNeary into his office, the account could not be located, which made him even more upset.
McNeary was demanding money and to speak with the FBI when a silent panic alarm was pushed a short while later, the complaint said.
St. Cloud officers were called to the bank around 2 p.m. CT for reports of a possible robbery in progress, St. Paul police said.
McNeary physically forced the bank manager “toward the bank vault, where he was provided with a large amount of cash which was placed in a bag” and given to him, the complaint said. During this time, the manager felt an object pressed into his back, according to the complaint. McNeary also allegedly grabbed the manager’s wrist very hard, causing an injury.
McNeary told the manager and the other hostages that “he was going to harm them, and that he wanted a ‘big show’ with the FBI and lots of media, and he’d take the victims ‘with him,'” according to the complaint. Another person who was also directed to the vault said that McNeary wanted this to “go viral” and that he wanted to be “a martyr.”
After receiving the cash, McNeary threw “large amounts of it all over inside the bank, then began taking victim’s phones and damaging them by slamming them into objects or putting them in water,” according to the complaint.
McNeary held four people in the lobby as another person, who had been hiding in an adjacent office, was communicating with law enforcement from inside the office until his cell phone battery ran out, according to the complaint. Shortly after, McNeary acquired a key card and discovered the person who had been hiding, forcing him out into the lobby area with the other hostages.
“Throughout the crisis, McNeary became more escalated. Witnesses described McNeary as threatening them, referring to them as ‘hostages,'” read the complaint.
McNeary specifically stated that he would use the bank manager as a shield, and they would “die together,” according to the complaint.
“McNeary told both hostages and law enforcement that he intended to kill the hostages, kill himself, or put law enforcement in a position that they would kill him,” the complaint said.
McNeary later placed scissors in front of the manager’s neck and stated, “I will have to shiv you,” according to the complaint. McNeary then allegedly pushed him to the ground and told him, “If you move, I swear to God, I’ll stab you.”
As one of the hostages moved quickly toward the front door of the bank, McNeary tried to stop her, but she managed to push past him and get out at approximately 7:09 pm, the complaint said. The three other employees — except for the bank manager — were later allowed to leave.
After more than eight hours, negotiators had been able to communicate to the bank manager “that law enforcement entry teams from both the St. Cloud Police Department and the FBI were directly outside the front door prepared to enter.” As authorities entered, according to the complaint, the manager ran for the front door and McNeary was apprehended.
McNeary did not have a firearm and none were found at the scene, St. Cloud police said.