The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office has identified the Andover man who apparently shot himself after a standoff with Anoka County SWAT Wednesday, June 24, as 50-year-old Chad Allen Thorstenson.
The Sheriff’s Office says Thorstenson was found dead of a gunshot wound after a standoff in the 300 block of Andover Boulevard Northwest, during which his home burned to the ground.
The address is home to Thor Ranch, a horse boarding facility, and Lt. Andy Knotz of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office said Thorstenson’s relatives were making arrangements to relocate horses from the property.
According to court records, Thorstenson was ineligible to possess a firearm due to a felony DWI conviction and had allegedly made previous threats against deputies.
He had a run-in with the Sheriff’s Office in February after allegedly trying to tip a storage pod on someone’s property using a skid loader. A criminal complaint from the incident said he fled inside his home and wouldn’t respond to deputies’ attempts at contact but sent a text threatening to “gun down any (expletive) sheriff that comes in here again.” A short time later, deputies and neighbors heard gunshots coming from his residence, according to the complaint. Thorstenson was charged with one felony count of reckless discharge of a firearm within a municipality and one gross misdemeanor charge of possession of a firearm or ammunition by an ineligible person.
The June 24 incident that led to a standoff began around 6:30 a.m. when the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office and local fire departments were called to a house fire at Thorstenson’s property.
As firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze, deputies encountered Thorstenson barricaded in a horse trailer with sleeping quarters at the back of the property making active threats to the safety of deputies, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
His actions caused authorities to pull back firefighters, and the house burned down to the foundation.
When deputies’ attempts to communicate with Thorstenson proved unsuccessful, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team took over the scene, but further attempts at negotiation failed, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Shortly before 10 a.m. June 24, deputies heard a single gunshot from inside the trailer and found Thorstenson dead inside, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The incident remains under investigation by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office. The Anoka County Fire Investigation Team has also been called in to investigate the cause of the fire.
Authorities say there is no ongoing threat to the public and no other individuals are being sought.
“This is a very tragic situation and certainly not the outcome we had hoped for,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.