It started around 8:30 Thursday night at the Residence Inn off South Loop 289. 33-year-old Charles Kevin Jennnings was seen throwing things out of his window. The Lubbock SWAT Team was called to the scene around 9:45.
Police say Jennings made several bomb threats and then set his room on fire. "Very scary, very scary. The guy he just went berserk," says motel guest, Kim Revert. It was a rude awakening Thursday night for Revert. She was quietly watching TV in her motel room. Then an officer banged on the door, and told her and her daughter to get out.
"We all ran down there, and he's screaming and yelling, and throwing stuff it was all blocked off by cops, there were two fire trucks, two ambulances. It was weird," she says. Just after 8:30, police arrived at the Residence Inn by Marriott. Charles Kevin Jennings was in his room arguing with his mother. "This is a 33-year-old man who apparently had a number of alcoholic drinks and then when his mother spoke to him about his drinking, he became violent," says LPD, Public Information Officer, Bill Morgan.
"He was throwing the TV out the balcony doors and it was just landing on the ground,"says Revert. According to police, Jennings set two fires in his room. The fire spread from his room to the balcony. At least 28 families fled to safety and ran to the parking lot, but Charles still would not come out.
"Then the SWAT Team gets there and they get on the bullhorn and start talking to that guy, and he's just screaming.. I'm not coming out," says Revert. The SWAT Team finally entered his room and forced him out. No one was injured. Jennings was taken to Lubbock County Jail on charges of arson and criminal mischief. His bond is set at $22,500.
As for the families who were forced out of their rooms last night, management says they've returned to their rooms already. Police tell us Jennings had some military experience in special forces training and he had also at one time been trained as a firefighter.