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Armed home invasion leads to 4-hour standoff in north Fargo

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Amar Kovacevic3 / 4
Members of the Red River Valley SWAT team monitor a standoff along Forest Avenue in north Fargo on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.David Samson / The Forum4 / 4

FARGO – A standoff that lasted over four hours in north Fargo ended without bloodshed after an armed suspect, accused of twice threatening another man, surrendered to SWAT team officers Friday afternoon, Nov. 24.

The 23-year-old suspect, Amar Kovacevic, gave himself up to police shortly after 1 p.m., walking out of what appeared to be a house converted to apartments at 502 Forest Ave. N., said Fargo police Sgt. Travis Moser during a news conference in the parking lot of nearby Hope Lutheran Church.

Moser said the Red River Valley SWAT team had used a remote controlled robot to contact Kovacevic and talk him into surrendering.

Kovacevic was arrested on suspicion of burglary, terrorizing and possessing a firearm as a felon. He was being held at the Cass County Jail.

Officers were called to the neighborhood about 8:45 a.m., and they learned that Kovacevic had entered a family’s home in the 2900 block of Broadway uninvited, police said.

When asked to leave, Kovacevic pulled out a gun and started threatening people in the home while pointing the gun at another man, police said.

That man, whose name was not released, managed to flee the home on Broadway, and he ran a short distance to his apartment at 502 Forest. Kovacevic pursued the man to his apartment and continued to threaten him, police said.

The victim again managed to get away, and he called 911. No one was injured in the ordeal, and no shots were fired, Deputy Chief Ross Renner said.

Renner said police did not know what triggered the incident. However, police said Kovacevic and the other man know each other.

The victim’s father, sister and her boyfriend all live in the main-level apartment at 502 Forest, and they were still inside when officers arrived, police said.

Officers had the three leave the building, which was evacuated and placed on lockdown. The boyfriend told police he saw Kovacevic hiding in a bedroom closet on the main floor.

Using a loudspeaker on a squad car, police tried unsuccessfully to convince Kovacevic to come out of the building. After about an hour, the SWAT team and its armored Bearcat vehicle were dispatched to the scene.

Streets around 502 Forest were blocked off. About 12:20 p.m., officers set off a pair of what sounded like flash-bang grenades. Police again used a loudspeaker to encourage Kovacevic to come outside, to no avail. The loud report of another grenade was heard perhaps 20 minutes later.

Police sent automated phone calls and text messages to neighborhood residents urging them to shelter in their homes. The greater public was told to avoid the area.

The SWAT team eventually sent its robot into 502 Forest and found Kovacevic, who ultimately left the building. Investigators later searched 502 Forest and found a loaded Smith and Wesson 9 mm pistol, police said.

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