Standoff ends peacefully, suspect in Mason City murder taken into custody
ALGONA—A three-hour standoff ended peacefully here Monday afternoon when Benjamin B. Gonzalez, 37, of Mason City, voluntarily exited a house in the 200 block of North Ridgely Street and surrendered to the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).
Gonzalez was wanted on a warrant for first degree murder following a shooting incident last Wednesday, March 31, in the area of 3rd Street Northwest and North Jefferson Avenue in Mason City. The Mason City Police Department and DCI issued a press release the next day that carried a photo of Gonzalez and a statement that he was a suspect in the murder. The victim's name was released to the media Monday – 36-year-old Michael Creviston of Mason City.
Gonzalez is being held on a $1 million bond in the Cerro Gordo County Jail, pending further court proceedings.
The Mason City Police Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Algona Police Department, Kossuth County Sheriff's Office, Kossuth County Attorney's Office, Clear Lake Police Department, Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's Office and Iowa State Patrol assisted with the arrest.
Algona Police Chief Kendall Pals said in an interview Monday evening, "From our department standpoint, we were notified by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation that investigators working on the case, through technology, they were pretty sure the suspect in the Mason City killing was in Algona. The exact location wasn't known. They had ideas. Our department assisted earlier today with Division of Criminal Investigation agents.
"Through a couple of different sources they believed there was a residence that he may be at, or close to, and our officers and DCI officers started working that area. One of our officers spotted the suspect walking down the street, tried to engage him, he took off running, ran about two and a half blocks to a residence. He was observed running into a garage, a small door of a garage. The officer that originally spotted him, of course called it in. So other officers responded and so there were numerous people in the area. The officer who saw him run in had the front of the house. We were able to set up a perimeter real quickly. We knew he hadn't gotten out. He had no opportunity to get out."
A resident of the home was behind the house at the time and unaware the suspect entered. The resident was taken to safety by law enforcement and never entered the house.
A negotiator came to the scene, Pals said, and the suspect gave up.
"He realized we had been out there for three hours and that law enforcement was not going to away. He did come out. He did surrender. He was taken into custody at that point."
The Advance will have more on this story in its print edition this week.