Jan. 9—Neighboring Hawthorne Elementary School on lockdown until man arrested
A man alleged to have stabbed his nephew in the leg Tuesday morning was arrested after a three-hour standoff at a home on Garfield Avenue across the street from Hawthorne Elementary School.
According to the Albert Lea Police Department, Efren Estrada, 24, was apprehended after members of the South Central Drug Investigation Unit Special Weapons and Tactics team used an explosive breach at 1:28 p.m. on the front door. After police provided additional commands, Estrada was arrested at 1:30 p.m.
The school, which was notified shortly after the incident started, was locked down until Estrada was arrested, and classes were ultimately released as normal. Nearby Grace Lutheran Church and Thorne Crest Senior Living Community were also advised of the incident, and there was no indication firearms were available.
The school district said in a statement sent out to caregivers of Hawthorne students that the school was placed on lockdown as a safety precaution, and instruction continued.
“At no time were students in danger,” it stated.
Dispatchers received the report of the stabbing at 10:25 a.m. from a person who stated his brother had been stabbed in the leg by their uncle at 1014 Garfield Ave.
When Albert Lea police and firefighters responded, along with Mayo Clinic Ambulance crews, they found the 23-year-old man who was stabbed outside the residence and administered first aid. A tourniquet was applied to the victim, whose name has not been released, and he was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System-Albert Lea for apparent non-life-threatening injuries.
The man who reported the incident was transported by law enforcement to the emergency room, where his mother also responded.
Police stated after establishing a perimeter around the house, officers began attempts to contact Estrada, who was believed to be inside the house. They made multiple voice attempts over a squad car’s PA system, as well as attempting to gain Estrada’s attention with the squad car’s siren, but were not able to make contact.
Due to past violations, he was wearing an electronic ankle bracelet that showed he was in the house.
The door was ultimately breached by the SWAT team, and Estrada was transported to the Freeborn County jail and is awaiting a felony second-degree assault charge.
Estrada was previously convicted of an armed robbery of a gas station in Albert Lea in 2016 when he was 16, and in April 2023 was charged with threatening his relative with a knife.
In that case he reportedly punched and kicked a door in the bathroom about 20 times while another family member was inside the room and then started stabbing the door and yelling that he was going to kill the relative. The victim stated he could see the puncture holes and saw the blade come through the door a couple times. The victim stated he was holding the door closed as Estrada tried to force his way into the bathroom.