Long Standoff Ends Late Christmas Day in Wisc.


FITCHBURG, Wisc. (AP) -- A police standoff with a man who fired gunshots from a hotel room ended peacefully late Christmas Day after lasting nearly 28 hours.

Police said the siege which began Wednesday about 6 p.m. at the Quality Inn and Suites ended Thursday about 9:45 p.m.

Sgt. Chad Brecklin said Friday the 42-year-old Fitchburg man surrendered about two hours after tear gas was deployed following extensive negotiations.

He was not injured, but was taken to a hospital for medical clearance and then booked into jail.

No one was injured when the man opened fire Thursday about 1 p.m. from his third-floor window, police said.

But Brecklin said at least two rounds struck an unoccupied vehicle on the street and one round was fired into a hallway of the hotel.

The standoff began when Fitchburg police received a call of a suicidal man inside a room at the hotel, Police Chief Tom Blatter said.

Brecklin said police did not know why the man fired the shots.

People inside the hotel were allowed to come and go until the shots were fired, said Brian Becker, director of operations for Great Lakes Management Group, which runs the hotel.

A four-story wing of the hotel was eventually evacuated and part of nearby Fish Hatchery Road, a four-lane highway, was closed from 1 p.m. Thursday until 10 p.m.

Becker said guests and staff were in good spirits despite the incident.

"It's certainly a trying situation, but it does show us that many of us have more to be thankful for than we realize," he said.

Brecklin said the man could be formally charged in the matter as early as Monday.

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