Tragedy struck a North Carolina motel when a man, who was allegedly squatting on the premises, sparked a police stand-off that ended in a fatal shooting. The incident took place at the Hostess House motel in Newport on Wednesday morning.
According to Newport Police Chief Keith Lewis, authorities received a 911 call reporting a person trespassing at the motel. During the call, a disturbance could be heard in the background. Shortly after, a second call came in, stating that a person had been shot at the motel.
Responding swiftly, both the police department and Carteret County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene. They discovered Satyen Naik, the owner and manager of the motel, suffering from a gunshot wound. Despite being rushed to a local hospital, Naik succumbed to his injuries.
The motel is a family-owned business, and Naik was a well-known figure in the community, affectionately called “Baca” by locals and friends.
The suspected shooter and squatter, 59-year-old Troy Leon Kellum, barricaded himself in a room at the motel. To handle the situation, authorities alerted the Special Response Team (SRT) for assistance.
Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck revealed that they located Kellum in the room by tracking his cellphone signals. Negotiators and friends of Kellum attempted to communicate with him for hours, urging him to surrender peacefully. However, Kellum refused all efforts to persuade him to leave the room.
Concerned for public safety, authorities put local schools on “soft lockdowns” and considered closing a nearby highway. Kellum was armed with a handgun, which he maintained possession of throughout the stand-off.
After hours of failed negotiations, members of the police department’s Special Response Team entered the room. It was at this point that Kellum turned the gun on himself and took his own life.
According to records from the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction, Kellum was homeless at the time of his death but had a local address on file with authorities. He had a history of squatting in various buildings in the area.
Authorities suspect that Naik discovered Kellum’s squatting activities on the day of the incident, leading to the initial 911 call.
It is worth noting that Kellum had previously been charged with obtaining property by false pretenses in 2020 and was on probation for the offense at the time of his death.
The tragic events at the Hostess House motel have left the community in shock and mourning. The loss of Satyen Naik, a beloved member of the community, has deeply affected those who knew him.
As the investigation continues, authorities are working to piece together the events leading up to the stand-off and subsequent shooting. The motive behind Kellum’s actions remains unclear.
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