KALISPELL — We are learning more about the events that led to a standoff with law enforcement in Flathead County on Thursday, October 12, 2023.
According to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to Capistrano Road shortly before 7:30 a.m. for reports that a vehicle was abandoned in the middle of the road and that the driver had run away.
As deputies were investigating, a 911 call came in from the registered owner of the vehicle advising there was a hostage situation, but he did not give the address.
Deputies began patrolling the area and increased law enforcement presence in schools in the area as a precautionary measure, according to a news release.
Officers noted a residence in the area of Aspen Court which appeared to have been "forcefully entered."
The owner was contacted and indicated that no one should be inside the home.
Deputies then received another call from the man who said he was armed and would shoot at law enforcement and/or neighboring residences.
The Northwest Regional SWAT team was called to the scene and negotiators contacted the man in the home.
He gave up peacefully at approximately 3 p.m.
The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man as 60-year-old Benjamin Kulina of Kalispell. Burglary charges are pending after a review by the Flathead County Attorney’s Office.