A mass shooting may have been averted when an employee at a Marriott hotel in Long Beach, Calif., Reported that a disgruntled colleague threatened to kill hotel employees and guests, announced Wednesday the police.
The man, who had several powerful weapons and hundreds of cartridges in his Los Angeles area home, was arrested Tuesday, police said.
Rodolfo Montoya, 37, who was arrested at his home near Huntington Beach, shared the threat with someone he worked with at a Marriott hotel on Monday evening, the Long Beach Police Chief said , Robert G. Luna. The chief praised the worker who helped involve the police, saying the warning likely saved lives.
“Thank goodness this employee decided to release this information,” Luna said at a press conference on Wednesday.
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Police said they seized high powered firearms, including one described as an assault rifle, hundreds of rounds, 38 magazines containing 30 rounds each and what was described as tactical equipment from Montoya’s home.
Montoya “had clear plans, intentions and means to commit an act of violence which could have claimed a large number of victims,” ââLuna said.
Montoya was convicted of manufacturing and distributing assault weapons, possession of an assault weapon and criminal threat. He is being held in lieu of $ 500,000 bail, police said. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is expected to decide what charges he may face.
Montoya, a cook at the hotel near Long Beach Airport south of downtown Los Angeles, was reportedly devastated by human resources issues and told a colleague of his anger and plans. The employee informed the hotel staff of the threat and the police intervened.
“He reportedly said (…) he was going to shoot colleagues and people entering the hotel,” Luna said. “So he had a plan to shoot everyone he saw in the hotel.”
It was not immediately clear if Montoya had an attorney who could speak on his behalf. A listed phone number for someone of that name and age in Huntington Beach could not be found immediately.
Luna said Montoya does not appear to have a criminal history that would have prevented him from owning firearms, although possession of the weapon described as an assault rifle, as well as the 38 30-round magazines allegedly found in his home, could be illegal under State law.
The chief said it was not known how far Montoya had gone in his alleged plans. Police are working to determine when and where he acquired the guns and other items.
âHow far away were we from this acting guy, that’s part of the questioning we’re going through right now,â Luna said.
In the weeks following the consecutive mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, a growing number of people accused of threatening mass violence have been arrested, including a man from Las Vegas who allegedly wanted to attack Jews, a man from Ohio who had two AR-15 weapons and allegedly made threats against a Jewish community center, and an 18-year-old man from Ohio who allegedly made online threats and had 15 rifles, 10 handguns and about 10 000 cartridges.
On August 3 and 4, gunmen in separate incidents opened fire on a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, killing 31 people in total. Late last month in Gilroy, Calif., A 19-year-old gunman opened fire at an annual food festival and killed three people, including two children.
Andrew Blankstein contributed.