Robbinsdale man arrested after police standoff

Hennepin County sheriff's deputies have arrested a Robbinsdale man for attempted murder after he shot at a SWAT team and forced a standoff that lasted more than two hours Thursday morning.

Officials say 26-year-old Sahar Sandar Nikpay used a fully automatic assault rifle to shoot at a group of officers trying to serve a narcotics warrant at his home at 3326 Chowen Ave. N. The Sheriff's Department typically sends a tactical team to serve search warrants that are deemed "high risk."

Because they were looking for drugs and weapons, they believed Nikpay was armed and dangerous, officials said. Sheriff Rich Stanek said when the tactical unit was going around to the back of the house, Nikpay shot at them from inside. Because this was a heavily populated residential neighborhood, the officers did not fire back.

Instead, team members backed off and secured the area. Officers believed an LP tank was hit by the suspect's shots. A gas smell filled the neighborhood and law enforcement locked down about a four-block radius around the house.

Authorities escorted neighbors, including eight children, to the nearby North Memorial Medical Center for safety. Hospital staff took everybody in and gave them free breakfast.

Officers from Robbinsdale, Golden Valley, Eden Prairie, Edina and Minnetonka offered support to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department. Nikpay finally surrendered after more than two hours. Officers say he was alone in the house during the standoff.

The Sheriff's Department said Nikpay has a  history of violent crimes and weapons violations. He was booked into the Hennepin County Jail for attempted murder, but could face more charges.

A tactical unit will still serve the narcotics warrant so the man could be charged with additional crimes depending on what officers find in the home.

Renee Banot, reporting

Thursday, April 08, 2010


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