ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Police were called to the Country Hearth Inn and Suites around 3:00AM, where Mack Hall, 38, had barricaded himself inside one of the rooms.
Officers say Hall, who gave a Quail Run address, set fire to the room and then fired gunshots before police were able to get him out.
Firefighters were called in to put out the fire and no injuries were reported. Witnesses tell us they saw smoke pouring from the room.
Mike Flanary was staying at the Country Hearth Inn and Suites early Monday morning, when he saw police running past his window, guns drawn,
"I heard the police and they were talking about 'get down, get down," he said. "They was beating on the doors, telling everybody to get out the rooms, get out the rooms."
Police said that Hall exclaimed "Y'all are going to have to kill me," when he threw down his weapon, and ran at officers, who Tased him.
Around 20 guests were evacuated, as officers headed to room 215 where 38-year-old Mack Hall had barricaded himself, armed with a gun.
A window was broken, but it wasn't broken by an object being thrown, it looked like it was broken by a weapon actually being fired.
That broken window alerted hotel management and they called police, officers arrived on scene, shortly after they say Hall fired his gun, and then set fire to his room.
Several officers got Hall into a squad car, but he managed to kick out the plexi-glass divider, and damage the car door as well. They also took some marijuana from Hall, but didn't say how much.
Hotel officials say this is the first time anything like this has happened in the 15 years it's been in business, "Random things can happen at random times. But you got to make sure everyone's safe, everything gets done correctly," said Surah Patel.
Several rooms were damaged by the fire, Room 215 left soaked with water and a burned mattress. But hotel officials are just thankful no one was injured. "We do not want our guests injured or hurt, that's our major concern," Patel said.
After several minutes, Hall stepped out of the room and dropped his gun, he was arrested and is now being held in the Dougherty County Jail.
A spokesman for the hotel owner says the man who was arrested has stayed at the hotel before, but has never caused a problem.
The Albany Police Department provided this report on the incident:
Officers responded to the Country Hearth Inn and Suites, in reference to a domestic argument coming from room #215. Upon arrival, the clerk stated that a guest had called the front desk and stated that the occupant in room #215 had broken the window out. Officers were informed that the subject was armed with a gun.
Shortly afterwards, the subject fired a shot. The officers then called for backup. Officers arrived on scene and attempted to make contact with the subject by phone with negative result. The subject then set the room on fire and came out a short time later with the gun in his hands.
After commands were given to him to drop the weapon, he finally laid the weapon down and he was taken into custody. AFD responded and Officers entered the room with them to clear the room. No other person(s) were in the room.
Here is a statement from Country Hearth Inn and Suites:
We are very shocked by the incident that occurred early this morning, and are glad to report that everyone is fine, there are no injuries, and all of our guests are safely back in their rooms.
Early this morning our manager on duty was alerted to a disturbance in a room and upon noticing a broken window contacted the local Police Department and hotel owner. When the police arrived we believe the guest panicked and set fire to the bed in his room. We evacuated the hotel and the Fire Department arrived shortly thereafter to put out the fire. The guest in question has been taken into police custody.
This was a terrible thing to happen especially so close to the holidays. We apologize to each of our guests for any inconvenience to their visits, and want everyone to know that the safety of our guests is the most important thing to us and is our number one priority at all times. We care about everyone who stays with us very much and acted as quickly, calmly, and professionally as possible to make sure that everyone was safely evacuated and uninjured.
We would like to thank our local Police and Fire Departments for their quick responses and professional conduct during this unexpected emergency.