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Barricade situation: Person found dead in motel room

Updated: Apr. 28, 2021 at 1:28 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - One person is dead following a standoff at a motel room that shutdown the I-10 bridge for hours Wednesday morning.

I-10, including the I-10 bridge over the Calcasieu River, was shut down for about four hours as police worked a barricade situation at a motel just off the interstate.

According to Lt. Jeff Keenum, spokesman for the Lake Charles Police Department, police were assigned to a motel in the 1000 block of North Lakeshore Drive in reference to shots being fired at approximately 5:16 a.m. Wednesday.

Keenum says upon arrival, officers discovered shots had been fired from a motel room in the direction of I-10, and out of an abundance of caution and for safety reasons, traffic was diverted from I-10 towards I-210.

Officers discovered a barricaded subject that was the result of the call to the police department, and department negotiators and the SWAT team were activated, according to Keenum.

Keenum says after not having any success in making contact with the barricaded subject, the SWAT team made entry into the room where the shots were fired from.

SWAT team members discovered a deceased person within the motel room, according to Keenum.

Many people staying at the motel said they were asked to leave their rooms after the shot was fired. Though, one resident staying at the opposite side of the scene said she wasn’t woken up until hours later.

“My daughter calls me at 9 [a.m.], wakes me up, and she’s like, ‘Mama, I can’t get through.’ She said ‘The cops are here’,” said Letha Tucker. “It’s like there’s a standoff. So, I was like, nobody’s going nowhere for a while. She had to park down the street and walk here ‘cause the cops wouldn’t let her through,”

Tucker and her daughter have been temporarily living at the Oasis Inn and Suites.

The shutdown of I-10 has resulted in traffic backup throughout Lake Charles, including congestion through nearly the entirety of I-210 westbound and congestion on I-10 eastbound throughout Sulphur.

Traffic is also backed up on 171.

While I-10 has reopened, it will likely take time for congestion to clear in the area.

The operation also affected nearby businesses.

“Cops have been called numerous times in a month because of the activity at that place,” Paige Vidrine, marketing director at Steamboat Bill’s, said. “It’s the responsibility of the business owner to take ownership of the violence that goes on in their hotel.”

The owner of the motel did not want to talk to KPLC, and police have not released the name of the person who died or how they died.

This is a developing story and we will have more information as it becomes available.

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