After 2017 attracted multiple mass shootings with higher body counts, authorities throughout the USA are on high alert before New Year’s Eve celebrations. Heightened safety in Las Vegas was expected following Stephen Paddock’s October massacre (which killed 58 people and injured at least 525 longer) out of his high-tech resort room above a music festival. In Texas, authorities have arrested a man who may have wanted to perform a Paddock-style attack above a planned New Year’s Eve party.
The incident took place at Houston’s downtown Hyatt Regency hotel, that will unleash a 50,000-balloon fall at midnight amid a massive party. Luckily for revelers this suspect attracted attention early Sunday morning around 1:30 am when he reportedly grew “drunk and belligerent” toward staffers and started “fighting” with safety. After being called to the scene, officers initially believed the man was trespassing but investigated his room and made quite a find:
While gathering up the suspect’s belongings, authorities reportedly found an AR-15, a shotgun and a handgun, with lots of rounds of ammunition.
Investigators are waiting to talk to the unruly guest and figure out why he showed up to the resort with a number of firearms. He is facing charges of illegal and trespassing transport.
The New York Daily News adds that the man was staying on the hotel’s 28th floor with an area overlooking the celebrations that are still planned to occur. The officer who originally escorted the suspect (whose identity hasn’t been published) into his room called for backup after discovering stray ammunition prior to the entire arsenal was discovered. As previously reported, Paddock staged his meticulously planned attack in the Mandalay Bay hotel’s 32nd floor.
Though it’s not yet confirmed this man was likely a massacre, authorities planned to further interview the drunk defendant on Sunday afternoon after he sobered up, based on Lt. Gordon MacIntosh via the Houston Chronicle.