KINGSPORT — Kingsport Police Department officers spent much of Wednesday evening on the scene of what appeared to be a standoff of sorts at the Super 8 Motel, 700 Lynn Garden Drive. The incident lasted just more than five hours and was visible from Lynn Garden Drive, drawing a crowd of more than 30 onlookers to a Dollar General Store parking lot.
“All the perceived excitement is over,” KPD Public Information Officer Tom Patton said via text shortly after 11 p.m. “This was all connected to an ongoing investigation, which due to the active nature of it, cannot be further discussed at this time. KPD personnel are still on scene but should be wrapping up and clearing the area shortly.”
The incident began at about 5:45 p.m. and was resolved, with no one taken into custody, after police forced their way into a room at about 10:53 p.m. Officers had gathered at the door at least twice previously but had not forced open the door. No one emerged from the room except for the police officers who went in after knocking the door open.
Eyewitnesses at the scene said a woman ran from the hotel to the Dollar General at about 5:45 p.m., although it was unclear if she went back into the building or was taken to a local hospital.
Hotel guests remained in the building, but any who left after a certain point were not allowed to return. At least three were in the Dollar General parking lot after 10 p.m., and an officer for hours motioned people away from the parking lot when they tried to enter.
Reporters and others at the scene could see officers with weapons in a stairwell on the south end of the building near Room 302.
"I can confirm that KPD has officers at the Super 8 Motel in reference to an ongoing investigation," Patton said via text about 10 p.m. "I don't have any additional details that I can release at this time."
Officers and police cars were in various places on the motel property, as well as on the nearby Dollar General property.
“The term ‘standoff’ is not an accurate depiction of what is transpiring at the Super 8 Motel,” Patton said via text shortly before police went into the room. “I realize that from that outside looking in, it looks rather intense and exciting, but full disclosure ... it could very easily turn out to be nothing. Please don’t prematurely jump to any assumptions or conclusions that may turn out to be false.”