A disgruntled Marriott employee who had an enormous arsenal of weapons stashed at his home was arrested after telling a colleague he planned to carry out a mass shooting at his workplace, authorities have said.
Rodolfo Montoya, of Huntington Beach, California, was allegedly plotting to murder his co-workers and Marriott hotel guests with his cache of high-powered firearms including two assault rifles, a pump-action shotgun, several pistols/handguns and body armour following an undisclosed dispute with his HR department.
But his plan was foiled when the 37-year-old cook let slip his deadly intentions to a colleague who informed their manager.
The manager then called the Long Beach Police Department who raided Montoya’s home and seized the stockpile of weapons.
Montoya, who worked as a cook for the hotel, allegedly spoke to a fellow employee on Monday about the HR dispute and threatened ‘that he was going to shoot up fellow employees and people coming into the hotel.’
‘That is terrifying,’ said Imran Ahmed, the general manager of the Long Beach Marriott, at 4700 Airport Plaza Drive.
During a news conference today, Luna turned and directly addressed Ahmed and said: ‘Sir, you saved many lives, not only of your employees but any customers that may have been at the Marriott when this guy decided to show up and carry out his threat.’
‘Multiple firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and tactical gear were seized, including high-capacity magazines and an assault rifle, which are illegal to possess in California,’ Long Beach Police officials said in a statement late Wednesday.
Montoya was charged with manufacturing and distributing assault weapons, possession of an assault weapon and making a criminal threat.
He is currently being held on $500,000 bail at the Long Beach City Jail.
‘We have seen several tragic incidents that have resulted in many lives lost,’ said LBPD Chief of Police Robert G. Luna in a press conference disclosing the arrest.
‘The witnesses who came forward and the diligence of our employees involved in this investigation very likely prevented a threat of violence and saved many lives.’
Some 25 people have now been arrested over threats to carry out a mass shooting since the attacks in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, at the start of August.
The FBI has been on high-alert for copycat shooters, it has been reported.