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UPDATED Dec. 31, 6:13 p.m. ET: Authorities have identified the intoxicated man as 49-year-old Russell Ziemba. Investigators found that the man was at the hotel to take part in the New Year’s Eve festivities and he only brought his guns out of fear that they would be stolen, according to ABC 13 Houston. After reviewing the amount of ammunition discovered in Ziemba’s hotel room, the Houston Police Department said they have no reason to believe he was planning any sort of mass shooting.
See original story below.
An unidentified man was arrested by Houston police Sunday after authorities discovered a small arsenal of weapons at a Hyatt Regency, according to local authorities.
Police at the hotel made an initial attempt to arrest the man for intoxication and trespassing, but called for backup upon discovering ammunition in his hotel room. Authorities found an AR-15, a shotgun, a handgun, and a number of bullets in the man’s room, Lt. Gordon Macintosh told Houston NBC affiliate KPRC.
Macintosh added that authorities are waiting to formally interview the unidentified man because he was still heavily intoxicated at the time. It is still unclear what the man was planning on doing with the weapons, but a New Year’s Eve party was planned for the evening at the hotel.
According to Houston Police chief Art Acevedo, the situation has been contained and there appears to be no immediate danger. “No specific threats to Houston. Houston police will be heavily deployed throughout the city to include SWAT react teams,” Acevedo tweeted Sunday. “Proud of officers and Hyatt. As always be vigilant and report suspicious activity to authorities.”
The hotel has fully cooperated with the Houston police. "The safety and security of our guests and colleagues is our top priority, and consistent with the hotel's prepared security plans, heightened measures are in place on New Year's Eve," Hyatt Regency hotel manager Tom Netting said in a statement provided to the Houston Chronicle. "We are fully cooperating with authorities on an investigation, and further questions should be directed to the Houston Police Department."