Omaha police took a 29-year-old man into custody Sunday evening after a more than four-hour standoff with him at a hotel.
The standoff was reported around 1:45 p.m. at the Value Place Hotel near Harrison Street and Harry Anderson Boulevard
“We just noticed a guy was just walking past and something told me to look up and the guy actually had a handgun in his hand,” James Spears said.
Spears said his fiancee called police to report the man.
“It made us feel unsafe, honestly, because this guy, honestly, when you have a firearm, you’re supposed to have it holstered or put away,” Spears said. “He didn’t have it holstered. It was just in his hand.”
When authorities arrived, they learned the man wouldn’t leave a room in the hotel. Police officers attempted to make contact with the man, who was staying on the ground floor of the hotel, but they said he didn’t respond.
Sherice Maddies watched the incident unfold from across the hall with her friend and two kids.
“We could see through the peephole, they had their guns drawn and everything,” Maddies said.
Portions of the hotel were evacuated.
Police said they continued their attempts to make contact with the man barricaded in the room and eventually used flash bang grenades outside the window.
It wasn’t until four hours after the initial call when police used a bomb robot to break the window that they started negotiations.
The man surrendered and was placed in the back of a police cruiser around 6 p.m.
“We, at this point, are attempting to determine maybe if there was a mental health crisis that this person may need some help with at this point,” Omaha police Officer Michael Pecha said.
Police haven’t released the man’s identity and are waiting to see if charges will be filed.