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Men charged in standoff accused of pointing gun at cop, pulling trigger

PARK RAPIDS -- Two brothers involved in a standoff with authorities in Park Rapids were charged Thursday with first-degree assault for allegedly pointing a handgun at officers and pulling the trigger.

No shots were fired at officers by Brian Jon Bloom, 31, Park Rapids, and Allen Gene Bloom Sr., 39, Nevis, Minn., during Wednesday's standoff, which authorities said began when their stepfather was shot in the leg.

The criminal complaints filed in Hubbard County Court state that the two brothers "would point the gun at the officers and pull the trigger and the gun would go click as if the chamber did not have a live round in it."

County Attorney Don Dearstyne said the officers should be commended.

"I think they showed tremendous restraint given the situation they were put in," said Dearstyne, a former police officer.

Each brother was charged with three counts of first-degree assault, with each count carrying a penalty of as long as 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

According to the complaint: Officers were called at 1 a.m. Wednesday about a fight and possible shooting in Park Rapids. A woman told officers her sons were in the house holding her husband against his will.

An officer at the back of the house heard gunshots and ran to the front of the house and saw the victim, Lynn Barten, 47, lying on the ground. The officer went back to the rear of the house and saw Allen Bloom come out with a handgun.

During the standoff, both brothers exited the house. One would have the handgun, waiving it around and telling the officers to shoot them, and then the other would do the same thing.

Officers tear-gassed the house about 5:30 a.m.

Brian Bloom had a handgun in his back pocket when the brothers were taken into custody.

Barten has been uncooperative and won't say who shot him, Dearstyne said.

Police obtained search warrants to collect possible gunfire residue from both brothers and sent the evidence to a state crime lab for testing, Dearstyne said.

Barten was listed in good condition Thursday afternoon at St. Mary's Innovis Health in Detroit Lakes, a hospital spokesperson said.

Clearwater County District Court Judge Paul E. Rasmussen set bail for each brother at $200,000 without conditions or $100,000 with conditions, Dearstyne said.

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