Suspect in Graduate Hotel standoff is in custody, police say

The suspect was apprehended after a nearly 38-hour standoff.

A man sits on the ledge of the sixth-floor window at 1:15 p.m. after two loud explosions were heard at 1:09 p.m. Police say the suspect is in the room and believe he is the only person in the room.

Easton Green

A man sits on the ledge of the sixth-floor window at 1:15 p.m. after two loud explosions were heard at 1:09 p.m. Police say the suspect is in the room and believe he is the only person in the room.

by Ryan Faircloth and Nick Wicker

The suspect in the Graduate Hotel standoff in Stadium Village that started midnight Sunday and ended sometime after 1 p.m. on Tuesday is in custody, police said at 1:43 p.m.

The standoff lasted over 37 hours, involving multiple local police departments and SWAT teams. The suspect, 43-year-old Rashad Bowman of Woodbury, Minn., is receiving medical attention but is believed to be unharmed. 

Throughout the standoff, a microwave oven was thrown from the sixth-floor window, gas was fired into the room by the police, fires were started inside and three loud explosions were heard.

At 8:30 p.m. on Monday, a 40-year-old woman who was in the room with Bowman was released unharmed and has been cooperating with police officers, according to a Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson Scott Seroka. 

“The goal from the beginning and through the end was to resolve this with nobody being injured,” Minneapolis Assistant Police Chief Mike Kjos said in a press conference Tuesday. “For a long period of time, we were dealing with trying to get the female out of the room.”

Police came to Bowman’s hotel room around midnight Sunday for a welfare check and to serve an arrest warrant against him for an Arizona-based white-collar felony.

During the standoff, Bowman posted to his Facebook page at 11 a.m. Tuesday that someone had stolen his cat Scarlett. He later commented that he was missing his daughter, Alyssa Funke, who died in 2014. According to an article on Funke by the Washington Post, Bowman was convicted of fraudulent schemes in Maricopa County Court in Arizona in 2001.

University of Minnesota Police Chief Matt Clark said officers were negotiating with the suspect from beginning to end. Bowman said he had a firearm, and his family reported that his was missing, but Clark said police have been unable to locate one. As of 2:30 p.m., crime lab teams are still searching the room.

Throughout negotiations, the suspect said at 8 a.m. Tuesday he “was going to torch or burn down the hotel,“ according to Clark. He refused to surrender throughout the standoff while the police threw and fired gas and flash bang grenades into the room.

Two loud explosions from police flash bangs were seen and heard at 1:09 p.m. Tuesday inside the sixth-floor window where the suspect was holed up. At 1:38 p.m., a third explosion was heard. Shortly after, police reported the suspect had been arrested.

Bowman had barricaded the door with mattresses and other things inside the room. He was on the window’s ledge after the first two explosions. Police broke the door in half and rammed it from its hinges to get to Bowman.

“When this individual starts setting fires and making claims that he’s going to burn down a building that’s occupied, then we have to act immediately and that’s what you saw today,” Clark said.

The University community was first notified of the incident around 5:50 a.m. Monday and was updated periodically throughout. The Recreation and Wellness Center, Scholars Walk, Beacon Street Southeast between Harvard and Walnut Streets and the parking lot north of the hotel was closed for the entire span.

Classes at the University weren’t cancelled on Monday or Tuesday.

“We were negotiating with him throughout the entire period and the hope was that he would eventually just walk out and turn himself in,” Kjos said. “That did not take place, but in the end he was taken into custody without any injuries.”