Friday, October 24
shots fired at the lol-iday inn
I missed some excitement Thursday night. When I turned over desk duty to Wallace at ten o'clock, I thought his biggest problem would be two feuding sets of rooms; both had noisy children and parents that disliked one another. When I woke up this morning, however, I had a text from him: "Shots fired right in front of me at work last night."
I called him and got the details. It seems he had heard a lot of noise upstairs around one am, and figuring it was the two feuding sets of rooms, he went out to investigate--and to tell them to shut up. When he went outside, he realised that the noise wasn't coming from those rooms, but that there were two young men walking down the hallway shouting. They came down the front stairs, and Wallace met them out front. "Are you guests here?" he asked, and when they replied in the negative, he told them to get off the property. He said that he was pretty aggressive about it--as we sometimes have to be--and was all but cursing them out. When they asked Wallace why he was so mad, he told them that they just could not be on our property if they weren't staying here, especially if they were disturbing our other guests late at night. [Dir!] He told them that if they didn't leave immediately, he would call the cops. They started walking toward the parking lot, presumably to get their car, and Wallace returned to the office.
Watching them on camera, however, he saw that they went up the stairs at the far end of the building, one of our troublespots. Wallace went upstairs and heard them shouting; when he got withing a few feet of them, one of the young men pulled a gun out of his waistband and fired into 223. Wallace immediately reversed, and saw them fire again, apparently at random, as this bullet went through 219's window. He continued back to the office at top speed to call 911, but found himself at a dead end in our back room, since the rear office--the most secure room available to us--was locked. He turned around and waited to see whether they'd come after him, since he was the main witness, having seen and spoken to them, as well as seen them start firing. Fortunately, they took off down the street.
When the cops arrived, they reviewed the security tapes with Wallace, who saw that even before he'd spoken to them the first time, one young man had lifted his shirt to show someone the gun in his waistband. "If I'd seen that, I wouldn't have cussed them out--or even gone outside," he told me. "I would've just called the cops."
The officers recommended that we expell that entire section of rooms, from 220 down to 224, and also 202 & 225 at the opposite end (one set of the feuding rooms, even!), who were acquainted with the shooters, which we did this morning at checkout.
They believed it was a drug dispute of some kind, as the guy in 223 has been under suspicion for dealing for quite some time. He's constantly got people calling, including from other rooms, and visiting at all hours for five minutes. Mmmhmm. The girls in 222 (who were prostitutes) said that the shooters were friends of theirs, and that 223 had come over to their room and was bothering them. Regardless, we made them all leave. 223 was injured slightly but fine, and 219's boyfriend was lightly grazed. No other injuries, fortunately.
"Tha was the biggest adrenalin rush in my life," Wallace told me. "I can't believe it."