by Naja and Arnaud Girard…….
Key West police shut down the 800 block of Duval Street at about 7 p.m. last night amid reports of a “possibly armed person” having barricaded himself inside a bed and breakfast. According to police spokesperson, Alyson Crean, a man had called police claiming he had knifed a woman in the chest and abdomen, had a shotgun, and had taken his teenage niece hostage.
Police Chief Donie Lee directed the operation from KWPD’s Mobile Command Post stationed on Olivia Street.
Key West officers, State Troopers, Border Patrol, FWC, and Key West firefighters had the hotel surrounded. The police Special Response Team [SWAT team] was on scene along with a police hostage negotiator.
From Alyson Crean, spokesperson for KWPD:
“Police immediately responded by setting a perimeter around the hotel, evacuating guests and nearby businesses, and diverting traffic from the area to ensure everyone’s safety. A hostage negotiator was brought on scene to try and diffuse the situation. The caller contacted police several more times throughout the ensuing hours, apparently responding to police communications through a bullhorn. During this time, officers were slowly checking the area, clearing rooms in the hotel as they went.
After making no progress with the caller, police decided to bring in the Special Response Team to tactically clear the remaining rooms so that the guests could return to the hotel. The team found no evidence of the caller or his alleged victims. The hotel was deemed safe, and around 2 a.m. guests were able to go back to their rooms.
Key West Police Detectives are continuing to investigate the source of the call.”