A tense standoff between law enforcement and a murder suspect disrupted a Baxter neighborhood on a night when many people were still digging out from the season's first major snowfall.
On Nov. 27, an armed Edina man, Anthony Richard Szutz, suspected in his mother's asphyxiation death, surrendered to police officers after a 3 1/2-hour standoff on Clearwater Road. Szutz was armed with a sawed-off shotgun. Icy roads from the recent storm helped law enforcement as the Szutz's vehicle left the road and landed in a ditch between Red Sand and White Sand lakes.
The 33-year-old Szutz was wanted for questioning in the death of his mother, Barbara J. Szutz, 52, whose body was found by Edina police officers in a basement laundry room of her home. Barbara Szutz and her son lived together. Neighbors told police officers the mother and son had a volatile relationship with several angry exchanges witnessed between the two.
About 11:30 a.m. Nov. 27, Crow Wing County authorities were notified that Szutz, who has an aunt in Baxter, possibly was coming to the area. Just after 3 p.m. that day, Baxter police officer Jaime Lee spotted Szutz's truck on Highway 210. After a chase through Baxter streets and crashing into Lee's and Crow Wing County Sheriff's Sgt. Tim Pickar's squad cars, Szutz's truck slid into the ditch and the standoff began.
Officers fired several non-lethal rubber bullets to knock out Szutz's rear window and then fired tear gas into the truck to try to force Szutz out. Szutz opened his truck windows to air the gas out, but he did not leave the vehicle.
Several times during the standoff, Szutz held the shotgun to his head and neck. Then, after talking to his grandfather on the phone, Szutz gave himself up to authorities about 7 p.m.
On Nov. 29, Szutz, who was in Hennepin County Jail, was charged with second-degree intentional murder. In a statement to Edina police officers, Szutz said he struck his mother and put a plastic bag over her head, securing it with duct tape at her neck, after his mother was angry with him for smoking crack cocaine in her house.
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