NATICK — A guest was shot early Tuesday in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, leading to the evacuation of more than 75 guests who found shelter at the neighboring Natick Mall or in their cars in the hotel parking lot, officials said.
The guest, who was not identified, was not struck by the single gunshot that was fired by one of several suspects in the lobby of the Route 9 hotel, Natick Police Chief James G. Hicks told reporters.
A video released by authorities showed the harrowing scene: One person runs into a glass sliding door that appears to be activated by motion sensors. The door heaves outward as the person crashes into it before they are able to squeeze through a small opening. That person then stumbles before running off. The person was pursued by a gunman, who was dressed in dark colored clothing and a hat, according to the video.
The second person approaches the small opening in the door and extends their arm through it with the gun, firing a shot. The shooter then retreats away from the door.
Shots Fired At Local Hotel
At 2:41 AM this date we received a call of shot(s) fired at the Crowne Plaza hotel. Upon receipt of the call several communities; Framingham, Sherborn, Ashland, Wayland, Wellelsey, State Police and NEMLEC sent assets to aid this Department. Further support was provided by the Natick DPW in the delivery of barricades to help secure the area. We remain humbled and grateful for the expedient and professional response by all. Initial units made an assessment to evacuate several of the hotel guests in an abundance of caution to secure the building in the event the suspect had remained in the building. Several areas were searched and secured until hotel facilities and management arrived allowing us access to the building’s video system. It was at that point it was determined the suspect had fled the area without completely entering the lobby. After allowing for ballistic and crime scene documentation and collection hotel guests were allowed to re-enter. Detectives in conjunction with the services provided by the Massachusetts State Police are earnestly engaged to close this matter out. At present the subject who fired the weapon is unknown to us, but it is presently believed he is not from the direct area. The victim sustained minor injury not believed to have been caused by gunfire. The manner in which the victim and the assailant came to know each other and what precipitated the event are at task. We do not believe this event poses any additional threat to our community. Additionally, we would be remiss if we did not mention that the staff and management of the Crowne Plaza Hotel remained professional and most accommodating throughout this event. They clearly work well together and they made our jobs that much easier. They are to be congratulated for their dedication to the safety of their guests under the literal threat of fire. Anyone that can assist with the identification is asked to contact the Natick Police Department Detective Division at: 508-647-9520. You may report anonymously using our Online Reporting system found at www.natickpolice.com or by using this link: http://www.natickma.gov/201/Online-ReportingPosted by Natick Police Department on Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Hicks said none of the guests or staff was physically harmed during the incident that began around 3 a.m. By 6 a.m., the hotel had been searched, and none of the suspects was found, he said.
The chief said that the guest apparently targeted by the shooter is being interviewed by police and that surveillance video from the hotel security system is being reviewed for help in identifying those involved.
He said the guest is being asked to retrace his steps in hopes that may lead to a reason for the attack, which brought SWAT teams from State Police and a regional police agency to the scene.
Natick police evacuated “several of the hotel guests” in an abundance of caution, according to a statement from the department released Tuesday night. Authorities searched the area and reviewed the building’s video system. In the statement, police said the shooter is unknown to them.
The person who was shot at suffered a minor injury not believed to have been caused by the gunfire.
“The manner in which the victim and the assailant came to know each other and what precipitated the event are at task,” said Natick police in the statement. “We do not believe this event poses any additional threat to our community.
Anyone with any information is encouraged to call Natick detectives at 508-647-9520.