A woman who squeezed off several gunshots inside her Inver Grove Heights home in an incident that set off a 2½-hour police standoff and forced students in a nearby school to take cover has been charged with second-degree assault.

Kathryn L. Mielke, 50, also known as Kathryn L. Epperson, was charged Friday in Dakota County District Court and remains jailed in lieu of $300,000 bail.

Mielke’s standoff with heavily armed police officers began about 3 p.m. Thursday with the gunfire and ended late that afternoon at her house on Claude Avenue north of 70th Street E., when she tumbled down the front steps.

She was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital for evaluation, according to police.

The standoff prompted 50 students in nearby Hilltop Elementary School to take shelter and school bus routes were disrupted. Residents were advised to take shelter, but some also were directed to leave their homes, police said.

Mielke’s criminal history in Minnesota includes convictions for theft and drunken driving.

PAUL WALSH