Toy Gun Used in 5 Hour Hotel Standoff

Shippenburg Township Best Western
ABC27: Police were called to a Shippensburg (Pennsylvania) Hotel after receiving reports of a man inside with a machine gun. It turns out, the weapon was much less threatening than it appeared.

"Everyone stay in your rooms, stay on the floor to be safe," said Matthew Ware from Virginia.

Some guests at a Best Western Hotel in Shippensburg Township were told to stay put, others right outside were told to run. 

"They were like run, run, run! So were running across the parking lot," said Mike Debruille from Ocean City, NJ. "Ran for our lives I guess. We ran and they told us come downtown or come here," said Emily Dubruille from Ocean City, NJ.

Those travelers were taken to a staging area before seeking shelter in a nearby medical center. "We basically treated it as a subject who was armed based on the information we had," said Thomas Pinkerton with the State Police.

Authorities from all over the mid-state rushed to the hotel Saturday morning after a guest said there was a man with a machine gun. Police say the man was wanted by Maryland Police for assault charges, and had a confrontation with the clerk at the hotel's main desk.

The say the man was also a guest staying on the hotel's second floor.

"Any amount of resources that we expended here was worth it because it could have turned out bad and in this case it didn't," said Pinkerton.

What appeared to be a standoff with 46-year-old Maryland resident John Jacobi lasted for nearly five hours, until he was contacted by police and surrendered on his own. Police found the supposed machine gun that caused it all. It was actually a toy gun.

"This toy gun was described to me as being extremely realistic," said Pinkerton.

With the incident under wraps, guests were told they could finally go about their weekend plans Saturday afternoon. "Being that the 4th of July is coming up I am going to celebrate my independence from this event here too," said Ware.


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