Armed standoff ongoing at motel on U.S. 70 in Carteret County

CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – An armed standoff continues at an Eastern Carolina motel, while nearby schools are on a soft lockdown.

Law enforcement converged on the Hostess House on U.S. 70 outside of Newport around 10:00 a.m.

A law enforcement source says there was a shooting at the motel and then the gunman barricaded himself inside one of the rooms.

Sheriff Asa Buck confirmed that it is a standoff. Earlier, an employee at a business across the street said it looked like authorities had evacuated the rest of the motel.

Multiple law enforcement officers in tactical gear have taken up positions around the motel with weapons drawn.

Newport Elementary, Newport Middle, and Carteret Preschool are on the soft lockdown until further notice. Authorities say no one can leave those campuses and deputies are at the schools.

Deputies have closed off the far right eastbound lane of U.S. 70 directly in front of the Hostess House and firetrucks have now lined that portion of the highway.

Stay with WITN-TV and for more on this developing story.