Graduate Hotel standoff rumors: What really happened?

A 38-hour standoff closed streets, the University’s Recreation and Wellness Center and an area parking ramp.

Minneapolis Assistant Police Chief Mike Kjos and UMPD Chief Matt Clark answer questions Tuesday after Rashad Bowman's arrest at the Graduate Hotel. The 38-hour standoff ended in Bowman's arrest just before 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 30. 

Jack Rodgers

Minneapolis Assistant Police Chief Mike Kjos and UMPD Chief Matt Clark answer questions Tuesday after Rashad Bowman’s arrest at the Graduate Hotel. The 38-hour standoff ended in Bowman’s arrest just before 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 30. 

Olivia Johnson

A 38-hour standoff at the Graduate Hotel near the University of Minnesota campus attracted multiple police departments, SWAT teams, closed roads and produced various rumors and questions.

The ordeal, which started midnight Sunday and ended around 1 p.m. Tuesday, involved 43-year-old Rashad Bowman of Woodbury, who is now booked at Hennepin County Jail.

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

Tuesday morning, Bowman threw a microwave out of the hotel window and started fires in the room. Bowman refused to surrender throughout the standoff while police threw and fired gas and flash-bang grenades into the room.

Some outlets reported that Bowman was armed, others labeled it a hostage situation and some students were frustrated that classes were not canceled. 

Who is Rashad Bowman? 

Rashad Bowman, 43, is from Woodbury, an east metro suburb. According to an article by the Washington Post, Bowman’s daughter, Alyssa Funke, killed herself in 2014. She was a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Why did Bowman hole himself up in a hotel? 

Facebook posts from Bowman during the standoff and multiple phone calls made to local news sources referenced Bowman missing his daughter, and complaining that someone had stolen his cat, Scarlett.

Was Bowman armed? 

Though it is still under investigation, the University of Minnesota Police Department and the Minneapolis Police Department have not confirmed whether Bowman was armed. As of Wednesday afternoon, police have not located a firearm in the hotel room despite earlier news reports that firearms were involved.

Was it a hostage situation? 

Though a 40-year-old woman was in the room with Bowman and left around 8:30 p.m., UMPD and MPD could not confirm that it was a hostage situation as of Wednesday. University spokesperson Chuck Tombarge told the Minnesota Daily police were not using the term “hostage situation.”

Has Bowman been charged with anything? 

Seroka, the MPD spokesperson, said the warrant for Bowman’s arrest was for a nonviolent financial felony committed in Maricopa County, Arizona.

According to Hennepin County Jail, Bowman has been charged by MPD with probable causes of kidnapping, terroristic threats and arson. Bowman’s case will be referred to the Hennepin County Attorney and court dates have not been set.

Why didn’t the University cancel classes? 

Classes were not canceled at the University Monday or Tuesday. Lacey Nygard, a University spokesperson, said the police set up a safe perimeter around the standoff and felt it was contained.

“They assessed the situation and there was no other ongoing risk to other parts of campus,” Nygard said. “They were consistently monitoring that.”

What on campus was closed?

The University’s Recreation and Wellness Center was closed all day Monday and Tuesday until 4 p.m. and the Washington Avenue Parking Ramp was also closed due to the incident. Union, Beacon, and parts of Harvard and Walnut Streets were also closed.