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Potato gun causes NYM block closure, school lockdown

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Two individuals shooting off a potato gun using walnuts as ammunition were the cause of a blockade and a school lockdown in New York Mills on Tuesday.

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The New York Mills Police Department received a report of shots fired on Tousley Ave. at around 1 p.m.

New York Mills Police Officer Bruce Wangsness said a perimeter was immediately set up around the block, closing off public access to that area of Tousley Avenue. For safety reasons, New York Mills School was put into external lockdown for about 30 minutes.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department, Wadena Police Department, Perham Police Department and Wadena County Sheriff's Department assisted on the call.

According to Wangsness, law enforcement stopped two individuals as they came out of a house on Tousley Avenue during the blockade. The individuals admitted to shooting off a potato gun, and the situation was resolved.

"When you use walnuts, it does sound like a shotgun," said Wangsness. "Those things are quite powerful."

Wangsness said the situation "was never meant to be life or death."

Charges are pending.

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