KINGSPORT – Kingsport Police cordoned off the Super 8 on Lynn Garden Drive Wednesday evening for about five hours in an attempt to locate a person of interest connected to an ongoing investigation.
Though the Kingsport Police Department did not release any additional information on Thursday about what brought that person to the Super 8, Jeffrey Pecor, the general manager of the hotel, wants one thing to be clear.
“What did not bring (the police) to the hotel was any kind of drug activity, a meth lab or a hostage crisis. None of that took place,” Pecor told the Times News on Thursday. “Super 8 takes safety seriously. None of our guests or staff were in danger at any time given what we knew.”
Eyewitnesses at the scene said a woman ran from the hotel to the Dollar General at about 5:45 p.m., although it was unclear if she went back into the building or was taken to a local hospital.
Kingsport Police then responded to the Super 8 looking for a person of interest in connection to an ongoing investigation. At least a dozen officers responded and cordoned off the property and witnesses at the scene could see officers with weapons in a stairwell on the south end of the building.
Officers and police cars were in various places on the motel property, as well as on the nearby Dollar General property.
Pecor said video footage from the motel showed the person of interest – a man – entering and leaving Room 302.
“Based on video footage, we had reason to believe the person they were looking for did leave the property,” Pecor said.
The person of interest was visiting the man who had actually rented the room, Pecor said, adding that the person of interest was also described as being a risk to the public.
Shortly after 11 p.m. Kingsport Police entered and cleared Room 302. No further information about the person of interest has been released.
“At that time, if the person was thought to be there, we decided that any of the rooms around the one in question...we should not have our guests there,” Pecor said. “We took them to other locations, put them in other rooms away from the investigation. Anybody affected by this, we took care of them the best we could.”
Pecor said guests from six rooms were relocated. Also because of the intensity of the situation, Kingsport Police stopped Super 8 from bringing people onto the property. Once police cleared the property, the guests were allowed back in.
Pecor said Room 302 is not a crime scene, that he would be going through it on Thursday and that it would be available to rent on Friday.
“We have worked very closely with the (police department) in regards to safety and any time we feel there’s been a suspicious person that we don’t think should be there ... if it looks suspicious to us, we do our due diligence to know who’s in the building,” Pecor said.