June 19, 2015 - Law enforcement personnel converged on the Best Western Plus Thursday, June 18, 2015 when it was brought to their attention an individual was contemplating harming himself.
Agencies including the Center Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff's Department, and Texas Game Wardens arrived at 8:15pm and were all present during the standoff. Center Fire Department arrived at a later time to assist. Guests from within the hotel were gathered at different locations in and around the grounds such as the lobby, poolside and parking lot and could not leave by vehicle as the entry to the facility was completely blocked with law enforcement vehicles.
Witnesses who were at the scene later revealed the subject, who was in room 217 facing U.S. Highway 96 North, stated he would open fire on anyone that entered his room. Officers could be seen exiting the hotel and donning bullet proof vests as protection.
Center Police Officers used a second floor laundry room as a staging area and could be seen talking on the phone, possibly with the man inside. Guests, who became aggravated with being denied exit and entry as a result of the blocked driveway, could be seen getting into trucks and driving over curbs to do so and in some instances became stuck. At around 10pm any bloodshed had been averted as the officers exited the hotel with the man absent of cuffs on his wrists and escorted him away from the facility.
Witnesses on scene when the man was escorted out said they were informed the man was a constable from another county.
According to a press release issued by the Center Police Department, officers responded to a complaint of a very emotionally unstable white male locked in his hotel room at the Best Western located on Hurst Street. Upon arrival officers found a man who was refusing to come out of his room.
The man was also threatening to harm himself. Officers were engaged in a lenthy negotiation with the man, but finally Officer Steve Thornburgh was successful in talking the man out of his room. Officers escorted the man to the Police Department, where he was evaluated by mental health care professionals.
The man was released without charges to responsible authorities.