Denver, CO – An alert housekeeper at a hotel near Coors Field on Friday may have headed off a Las Vegas-style massacre at the upcoming Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star game in Denver.
The potential mass-casualty incident was avoided on July 9 when a housekeeper at The Maven Hotel on Wazee Street, located less than a block from Coors Field, walked into a hotel room on the 8th Floor and saw the occupants had a massive weapons cache, KMGH reported.
The housekeeper contacted management and they called Denver police.
SWAT teams descended on the hotel and, as soon as they had a search warrant, entered the hotel room and took one man into custody, KMGH reported.
Sources said police removed 16 long guns, multiple sets of body armor, and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition from the hotel room.
Authorities locates three more suspects in another room on the 4th Floor of the hotel.
Police feared the number of weapons located in a room with a view of the stadium indicated the suspects were planning to do a “Las Vegas-style shooting” into the large crowds that would be gathering for the baseball game, sources told KMGH.
Three men and one woman were arrested on Friday night in connection with the weapons stash at the hotel.
Court records showed that all of the men had prior criminal histories, KMGH reported.
Law enforcement sources said one of the men who was arrested had posted about his recent divorce on social media and said he was going to “go out in a big way.”
Richard Platt, 42, was taken into custody for investigation of possession of a weapon by a previous offender, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute (two counts), and on a warrant from another jurisdiction, KMGH reported.
Gabriel Rodriguez, 48, was arrested for possession of a weapon by a previous offender and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Ricardo Rodriguez, 44, was facing charges for possession of a weapon by a previous offender, according to KMGH.
The only woman detained – 43-year-old Kanoelehua Serikawa – was held for investigation of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and on a warrant from another jurisdiction.
Serikawa did not appear to have prior convictions on her record, KMGH reported.
Streets around the hotel were shut down while the investigation was conducted.
Guests in the hotel were asked to shelter in place in their rooms while the building was secured, KDVR reported.
“Once I got up to my room the hotel phone started ringing,” hotel guest Drake Voell said. “I answered, and they said for everyone to stay in their room because there was a situation. I asked what was going on and they said there was just a few people that were up to no good on the fourth and the eighth floor.”
Voell said his grandmother was staying on the 4th Floor, just two rooms down from a room that was raided by police, and tried to find out what was going on, KMGH reported.
“They said they heard a maid walked into the hotel room and she saw a bunch of guns laid out,” he said. “Then they found a white SUV on the road and all doors were unlocked and there was a laptop on the dashboard open, so it was a very suspicious vehicle.”
Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen was on the scene and participating in the investigation, KMGH reported.
The white SUV was taken from the scene on a flatbed truck.
Denver police credited the hotel staff for heading off a potential tragedy, KMGH reported.
“The investigation and arrests were the result of a tip from the public, serving as an excellent example of the critical role the community plays in public safety,” the Denver Police Department (DPD) said in a press release on Saturday. “DPD encourages residents and visitors to always be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious or illegal activity to police immediately.”
The Maven Hotel’s management credited both its employees and the quick response by the Denver police, KMGH reported.
“We are incredibly proud that our team swiftly alerted the authorities in this instance,” the hotel said in a statement. “We are thankful to DPD for their quick action to safely resolve this situation and will continue to work closely with them to support their investigation.”