Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Public safety

AWOL serviceman kills himself in Clearwater Beach hotel

CLEARWATER — An AWOL serviceman barricaded himself in a Clearwater Beach hotel room Friday evening and killed himself as police and U.S. Air Force personnel tried to communicate with him, according to Clearwater police.

Police converged on the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites at 521 S Gulfview Blvd. early Friday evening, amid reports that a man inside was armed and suicidal.

Some hotel guests were evacuated from their rooms and police cordoned off a parking lot on the west end of the hotel while a large crowd of Friday night beachgoers gathered nearby.

Officers were attempting to communicate with the man barricaded in room 262 when at least one shot was fired from inside the room, according to a Clearwater police spokeswoman. Police called for guns and shields and took up tactical positions around the hotel.

When they finally entered the room at 8:19, they found the man had shot himself to death.

Police did not release the man's identity or any information about where he was from or where he was stationed.

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