Prescription drug deal goes awry; 50 cops show up at New Brighton home

Andrew Troy Bisbee
Andrew Troy Bisbee

A 19-year-old man was arrested in New Brighton after allegedly shooting at a vehicle in response to a failed drug deal the evening of Jan. 29 and then holing up in a house in the 600 block of Continental Drive. 

The three-hour armed standoff with police that followed ended when the man, Andrew Troy Bisbee of Mounds View, exited the house and gave himself up.

Bisbee was charged Feb. 1 in Ramsey County Court with one count of dangerously discharging a firearm, endangering the safety of others, and one count of recklessly discharging a firearm within a municipality.

According to the criminal complaint, Bisbee allegedly admitted to police that he fired his gun three times at the two people he was delivering prescription drugs to. He allegedly told investigators that when he wasn’t given money for the prescription drugs, he became upset and shot at their SUV using a .38 revolver as the vehicle zoomed off, heading southbound on Continental Drive. 

According to Bisbee’s statement, he was allegedly thinking he’d take out a tire or a window on the SUV. 

Grandpa’s guns 

With the help of a school resource officer, police tracked down the passengers in the SUV.

“We have identified the people who were shot at and we interviewed them,” New Brighton Public Safety director Bob Jacobson said. “Neither of them were hit, nor was their vehicle.”

Bisbee allegedly had two guns — a couple of Smith and Wesson revolvers — one in the waistband of his pants and the other in his backpack inside his girlfriend’s house. The incident took place outside of her home.

Police examined both guns and said they found one had been shot and had only two remaining rounds in its cylinder. 

The guns, Bisbee allegedly said, had belonged to his grandfather and he brought them along because he had a “bad feeling” about this particular transaction.

According to Jacobson, illegal prescription drug deals are not rare in the area.

“This is a pretty common thing, especially for kids around this age,” he said. 

That wasn’t fireworks

Police arrived to the 600 block of Continental Drive at 7:18 p.m., after receiving calls reporting the sound of gunfire. 

An officer called the number listed for the house that Bisbee was seen running into and reached the female homeowner who said her daughter’s boyfriend had entered the home’s basement through a back door right after she heard banging noises outside.

According to New Brighton Public Safety’s narrative, the woman told police over the phone that she allegedly heard Bisbee, who was in the basement with her daughter, say, “I’m going to get shot now, I really needed that money,” to the 16-year-old girl. At the time, she was unaware of what had happened outside, she said. 

According to New Brighton’s report, the woman then went downstairs and found Bisbee, who she did not know or recognize, and he allegedly told her the banging was just fireworks.  

She later gave police her daughter’s cellphone number, but when officers called, Bisbee was the one who answered. He hung up upon realizing it was the police. 

The next time police called, Bisbee’s girlfriend answered, but when asked to exit the house, she refused, asking “why?” while abruptly hanging up each time they called.

Takes two negotiators

Eventually, New Brighton police called Ramsey County SWAT to the scene. SWAT and negotiators were able to persuade Bisbee’s girlfriend to leave the house. Bisbee followed shortly after and was taken into custody; his girlfriend was not arrested.

“Two negotiators from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office who were assisting with this were able to convince [the two], after quite some time, to come out of the home,” Jacobson said. “There were no gunshots exchanged after his three rounds. No weapons were fired during his arrest.”

Jacobson said up to 50 officers responded to the scene throughout the evening, he said, and the incident wrapped up around 10:30 p.m.

“Anytime you face a situation were someone is potentially armed, and with that person having already fired the weapon, you know there’s always the potential for the use of deadly force,” Jacobson said. “We wanted to take all the precautions we could, and take our time.”

He said residents in the surrounding area were asked to stay in their homes, but did not have to be evacuated, because police had the suspect in a controlled space.

“We did not want to get into a situation where anyone got hurt, including Mr. Bisbee,” Jacobson said. “Our hope is to always resolve things peacefully, recover the weapons, and for everyone to go home safe and unhurt.”

Jacobson called the incident — in regards to the responding law enforcement teams — a “textbook example” of coordination.

Bisbee appeared in court Feb. 1, where bail was set at $30,000. His next court appearance is scheduled Feb. 29. If convicted, Bisbee could face up to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Jesse Poole can be reached at jpoole@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7815. Follow him on Twitter @JPooleNews

 

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