2 suspects arrested after police find guns in backpack at Greektown hotel

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — Police have two of three people in custody linked to a suspicious package Tuesday that drew a large police presence in Greektown, authorities said.

Detroit police Chief James Craig said the situation developed quickly Tuesday morning after the discovery of a backpack behind an ice machine in the casino hotel.

Three people checked into the 28th floor of the Greektown Casino Hotel around 11 p.m. Monday, Craig said. At 7 a.m. Tuesday, a fire alarm was set off.

The incident occurred at the Greektown Casino Hotel, police said.

As the floors were being checked by hotel staff, they found a bag behind an ice-making machine. In the backpack was a Draco — a semi-automatic pistol; an AK-47 with a 30-round magazine; and a Bible, Craig said.

Inside the Bible were writings referencing a list of U.S. cities that had experienced mass shootings, which concerned authorities, who alerted Michigan State Police, and because it was a possible terror threat, FBI. Detroit was not on the list of cities tucked in the Bible, Craig said.

"We became extremely concerned," Craig said. "We didn't know what, why, and started the investigation," Craig told television stations Tuesday. "A special response team was called in. We looked back at the videotapes and found the vehicle that dropped off the suspects."

Two of the three suspects, who are from an Ohio suburb outside of Cleveland, were arrested at the hotel without incident. Police still are searching for the third suspect and another person whom they describe as a person of interest who police say dropped off the suspects Monday.

Craig said it wasn't the suspects' first visit to the hotel.

"We do think these suspects from out of state, who have a history with drugs, may have been here as part of that, but the investigation is still continuing," Craig said.

Craig said surveillance video showed one of the suspects sitting in the lobby and observing how hotel staff responded to the fire alarm. Police later determined that the fire alarm was not connected to the incident.

"Video surveillance showed who placed it and connected the person from a room in the hotel," Craig said. "... Greektown is open and safe. We're always in a constant state of readiness."

Marvin Beatty, vice president of public relations for the casino, lauded the Police Department's response after the bag was found in the routine inspection.

"Absolutely, (we're relieved)," said Beatty, who added that the suspects overstayed their reservation. "Logistically, when somebody stays in our hotel beyond their stay time, we make immediate contact with them as to what their intentions are ... at any time we have the ability to enter those rooms if there's no notification.

"They did stay over their 11 o'clock checkout time, but Detroit police was on the scene" and found two of the suspects.

Detroit News Staff Writer Ariana Taylor contributed to this report. 


Twitter: @SarahRahal_