Armed standoff over at motel on U.S. 70 in Newport

NEWPORT, N.C. (WITN) – An armed standoff is over at an Eastern Carolina motel, while soft lockdowns at nearby schools have been lifted.

Law enforcement converged on the Hostess House on U.S. 70 in 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 was 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 took up positions around the motel with weapons drawn.

Shortly after 1:00 p.m., several flashbangs were heard and now SWAT members have removed their helmets while other law enforcement officers have started to leave the area.

Newport Elementary, Newport Middle, and Carteret Preschool were on the soft lockdowns as a precaution. Authorities say no one could leave those campuses and deputies were at the schools.

Sheriff Buck is expected to update the media shortly on the situation.

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