Chandler PD: Armed man barricaded himself after possibly starting hotel fire

Posted at 11:55 AM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 22:06:45-04

Police say the area is safe after an armed suspect is believed to have set a fire at a Chandler hotel before barricading himself inside a nearby business Friday morning.

PHOTOS: Crews search for armed suspect in Chandler

Multiple police and fire units responded to the area near 54th Street and Chandler Boulevard around 11:30 a.m. Viewer video showed several armed officers at the scene. Watch the video in the player above.

Chandler police Sgt. Daniel Mejia said officers responded to assist with a room fire at the Super 8 hotel near the intersection, when they saw a man fleeing the area and going to a nearby business.

Mejia said the suspect then ordered everyone inside the business to get out.

A man named T.J. who works at a Jiffy Lube in the area says he saw someone fire a gun.

“I peeked over a wall here, and I just saw a man standing in the median, and it looked like he was pointing at cars. I did hear a pop and saw smoke coming from his hand. It made me think it was gun shots,” he said.

He said the man then fled the area.

“All we heard was sirens and police coming up,” he said.

Police say eventually the suspect shot himself while barricaded inside the business building near 54th Street and Chandler. He was transported to a local hospital and his current condition is unknown, Mejia said.

Annie Duran, Tastykakes Bakery store manager, says she was alone in the store when the suspect walked in yelling.

"He was asking for beer," Duran said. "He just went into the cooler, got a drink and popped it open, sucked it up, all the while holding a gun to his head and said he was going to kill himself. Then he threw the can across the room." 

No other injuries were reported in the incident. 

Duran said he didn't threaten her, only himself. She walked to the back into her office and locked the door. She was able to exit to the warehouse loading dock and reached out to other employees for help.

Chandler Boulevard was closed eastbound in the area during the incident but has since reopened. 

Stay with ABC15 for updates.