Police in Houston discovered a small arsenal of firearms and ammunition in a downtown hotel room ahead of a large New Year’s Eve party, according to reports.
Russell Ziemba, age 49, was extremely depressed and intoxicated when he was arrested, NBC News reported, citing several senior law enforcement officials.
NBC added that the man allegedly told officers that he loves the U.S., is an Army veteran, and did not intend to harm anyone.
Early Sunday, officers discovered the weapons at the Hyatt Regency on Louisiana Street after they were called to confront a man who was apparently intoxicated and causing a disruption, according to local television news station KPRC-TV. They arrested the man for trespassing and public intoxication, the station added.
When police attempted to gather the man’s possessions at the hotel, they found an AR-15 rifle, a shotgun and a handgun, along with many rounds of ammunition, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The guns were not loaded, and Ziemba stored them in his room because he feared they would be stolen if he left them in his truck, officials said, according to NBC. He recently had a domestic relations problem and had to remove his belongings, including his guns, from a residence, NBC added.
KPRC-TV said the man’s room was located on the hotel’s top floor.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted that the situation was contained.
A spokeswoman for the Hyatt Regency confirmed to CNBC that hotel plans to proceed with its New Year’s Eve festivities, which include a massive balloon drop, a four-hour party and live musical acts. The Chronicle said about 2,000 people are expected to attend the event.
“The safety and security of our guests and colleagues is our top priority, and consistent with the hotel’s prepared security plans, heightened measures are in place on New Year’s Eve,” the hotel’s manager said in a statement, according to the Chronicle.
The incident comes nearly three months after a gunman opened fire on a crowd from a Las Vegas hotel room, killing dozens and injuring more than 500. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Days ago, Las Vegas unveiled heightened security measures for New Year’s Eve, including more than 350 personnel from the Nevada National Guard.