A chef at the Long Beach Marriott was jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail Thursday morning for allegedly threatening to carry out a mass shooting at the hotel in response to some type of dispute with his employer, and police say the man was keeping an arsenal of weapons at his home.
Rodolfo Montoya, 37, was arrested Tuesday at his Huntington Beach home and booked on suspicion of manufacturing and distributing assault weapons, possession of an assault weapon and making a criminal threat, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
“He was an employee at the hotel and he was upset about some recent workplace activity having to do with H.R.,” Long Beach police Chief Robert Luna told reporters at a Wednesday news conference announcing the arrest.
Luna said Montoya allegedly spoke to a fellow employee on Monday and threatened “that he was going to shoot up fellow employees and people coming into the hotel.”
That employee told the hotel’s general manager, who called police.
“That is terrifying,” Imran Ahmed, the hotel’s general manager, said. “I do want to thank my associate who came forward and informed us and our leadership team who took the proper action that was required.”
Luna thanked Ahmed for making police aware of what Montoya allegedly planned.
“Sir, you saved many lives, not only of your employees but any customers that may have been at the Marriott when this guy decided to show up and carry out his threat,” he said.
Luna said police found a variety of weapons in Montoya’s home, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition and tactical gear. He said Montoya does not appear to have any criminal history, so there is no indication he is prohibited from purchasing firearms. The chief noted, however, that some of the firearms found at Montoya’s home “may be illegal to possess,” along with some of the high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Detectives were looking into when Montoya planned to carry out the attack as well as how long he had been planning it, Luna said.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia hailed the work of police and the courage of the hotel employee who reported the alleged threat.
“These types of tragedies continue to occur across the country,” Garcia said. “This incident was a credible threat to our city, which easily could have resulted in a similar tragedy. However, thanks to both the actions taken by the employee who reported this threat and the exceptional work of our police department, thankfully it was not.”
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