The man who allegedly opened fire in the lobby of a New York hotel, killing a Marist College student’s relative who had been in town for “Family Weekend,” had a Glock switch on his gun that made it fully automatic, and a second weapon was discovered in his room, a senior law enforcement official said early Monday.
The official also said the victim was an innocent bystander. The person’s identity has not been released.
Glock switches are illegal and essentially turn semi-automatic pistols into fully functioning automatics that federal law classifies as machine guns. The official says the firearm thought to have been used in the shooting was found on the roof of the suspect’s car, while the ghost gun rifle was found in his room at The Courtyard by Marriott in Poughkeepsie.
The suspected shooter, who hasn’t been identified, also had a 30-round high-capacity magazine in his possession, the official said. He is one of two men in custody in the case.
A search warrant was being executed late Sunday into early Monday and was expected to cover their vehicle, in which investigators believed there may have been Tannerite, which is used in long-range target practice and explodes upon impact, according to the senior law enforcement official . More details are expected later Monday.
It’s not clear why Tannerite may have been in the vehicle, or what they may have had to do with another firearm, flashbangs and materials “used to make explosives” that the official said had been found in their hotel room.
According to the preliminary investigation, the shooter had gone down to the hotel lobby to get coffee Sunday and got into an argument with some hotel staff and others, the senior law enforcement official says. He took out the gun and fired, killing the victim.
The senior law enforcement official had said the two suspects were in a hotel room smoking a PCP-like substance prior.
The chaos unfolded over the course of a number of hours at the Marriott on South Road, with officers first responding to the scene at 7:30 am for reports of a shooting and the discovery in the hotel room coming later in the investigation.
Manuals related to making explosive devices were also found in the room, Police Chief Joseph Cavaliere said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting in the investigation. State Police responded as well, though authorities stressed there was no active threat to the public.
The shooting happened in the middle of Marist’s “Family Weekend,” where students and families were invited to participate in three days of activities, including a football game, tailgating and picnic on the waterfront.
Marist College acknowledged the tragedy in an email to students Sunday.
“This morning, authorities made us aware of the tragic, fatal shooting of a family member of a Marist student at a local hotel several miles from campus,” the college wrote. “Our deepest condolences go out to the family, and we are offering the full support of the Marist community.”
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