New details in southern Minn. standoff; over 20 rounds fired at police, tear gas and pepper balls deployed

"You already know what's going to happen," Michael Steven Molitor, 37, of Pine Island, told a Goodhue County Sheriff's deputy. "I plan on dying today." Molitor would later unleash a barrage of bullets at law enforcement during an hourslong standoff Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022.

Michael Molitor
Michael Molitor.
Contributed / Olmsted County Sheriff's Office

ROCHESTER — A Pine Island man is facing multiple felony charges related to a Saturday standoff in Pine Island where police deployed chemical munitions and he allegedly fired a barrage of bullets at police.

Michael Steven Molitor, 37, of Pine Island, appeared in Olmsted County District Court Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, on charges of first- and second-degree assault, terroristic threats and committing a crime while wearing a bullet resistant vest, all felonies.

The hourslong standoff involved multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office and the Rochester Police Department, and included the use of chemical munitions and pepper balls.

"Our team was there to supplement Goodhue County personnel, so the dynamic is a little different than it being just our team," said Olmsted County Sheriff's Capt. James Schueller. "However, the fact that they were able to maintain communication and work through all of the different factors that were present, including shots being fired, and still bring it to resolution without serious injuries or loss of life are a testament to the training and goals of the team."

District Judge Christina Stevens ordered Molitor continue to be held on a $1.5 million bail or bond with no conditions or a $750,000 bail or bond with conditions.


He has been in custody in the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center since his arrest Saturday.

His next appearance has not been scheduled as of Tuesday morning.

Molitor's attorney, Nicole Anlauf Kettwick, of Anoka, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Olmsted County Attorney's Office did not immediately provide a comment following a request by the Post Bulletin.

According to the criminal complaint:

An hourslong standoff at a southeast Pine Island residence Saturday led to Molitor surrendering to law enforcement after he allegedly fired 20 to 22 rounds at officers.

The Goodhue County Sheriff's Office initially responded to the residence around 10:44 a.m. to do a welfare check on Molitor who had made statements to people that he wanted to kill himself and threatened "suicide by cop."

When deputies arrived, Molitor told them he had a female hostage and that law enforcement would need to come get her. No hostage was later found.


Molitor used the fake hostage to entice law enforcement into making an attempt at rescuing the woman.

"You already know what's going to happen," Molitor told a deputy. "I plan on dying today."

Goodhue County SWAT and the Rochester Police Department/Olmsted County Emergency Response Unit arrived on scene and Molitor was seen in the building's garage with body armor on and an AR-15 attached to his upper body.

Molitor had threatened to fire his weapon multiple times.

Following a break down in communication with Molitor around 4 p.m., a tactical unit, along with armored vehicles, moved in to deliver chemical munitions into the residence around 7 p.m.

After law enforcement deployed five chemical rounds into the residence, a volley of gunfire erupted from the house. An officer on scene estimated Molitor fired 20 to 22 rounds with one hitting the driver's side window of an armored vehicle.

A few minutes after the barrage of bullets, Molitor emerged from the residence and would not comply with law enforcement commands.

An officer deployed pepper ball rounds at Molitor after he yelled that he was unarmed and would not move. After retreating back into the house for several minutes, Molitor reappeared and was placed under arrest.


Law enforcement did not locate any other people in the residence.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at
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