Police arrest suspect who planned to shoot up Long Beach hotel, authorities say

Photos by Sebastian Echeverry | Signal Tribune
Authorities arrested Rodolfo Montoya, 37, on Aug. 20 on suspicion of carrying out a “mass-casualty” shooting at the Marriott Hotel located at 4700 Airport Plaza Dr. Long Beach police said they recovered numerous weapons, various munitions, tactical gear and two small cameras from Montoya’s residence. The evidence was displayed during a press conference on Aug. 21.

The Long Beach Police Department announced during a press conference Wednesday that a potential mass shooting at a local hotel near the Long Beach airport was thwarted.

Authorities arrested Rodolfo Montoya, 37, on Aug. 20 on suspicion of threatening to carry out a “mass-casualty” shooting at the Marriott Hotel located at 4700 Airport Plaza Dr.

Police said they recovered numerous weapons, various munitions, tactical gear and two small cameras from Montoya’s residence. The evidence was displayed during the press conference.

On Aug. 19, authorities received a call from a concerned hotel employee telling them that a coworker had made violent threats toward the hotel staff and guests, police said.

Police acted quickly and began an investigation to locate the suspect. Montoya was located in Huntington Beach and was arrested on Aug. 20, Long Beach Chief of Police Robert Luna said.

Montoya is being held at $500,000 bail at the Long Beach City Jail.

“Suspect Montoya had clear plans, intent and the means to carry out an act of violence that may have resulted in a mass-casualty incident,” Luna said during the press conference.

A search warrant for the residence prompted investigators to find high capacity magazines, tactical vests and multiple firearms, which Luna said are illegal to own in California. It was not specified if the weapons were modified to fire automatically, but the chief said some weapons could be loaded with 30-round magazines.

The police did not say where the weapons came from or if they had been modified in anyway.

Luna said that the suspect was being interviewed as part of the investigation process as the press conference was taking place.

Luna revealed that Montoya was a cook who had become angry at matters concerning the hotel’s human relations department. The chief added that Montoya did not have any previous criminal records.

When the Signal Tribune asked Luna if more suspects were being interviewed as part of the investigation, the chief said that it was too soon to tell.

“At this point I’m not aware of any [suspects],” he said. “Many of these investigations– you never know what they turn up. When you start looking at where these weapons came from, it can go in many different directions, and everything is on the table.”

Imran Ahmed, Marriott Hotel general manager, thanked the police department for its work.

“I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “When we made that call, they took it over, and while the investigation was going on, the anonymity of our associates and our guests was beautifully maintained.”