NEWPORT, N.C. (WITN) – Police say a man who barricaded himself in a room after shooting the owner of a Newport motel died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Newport Police Chief Keith Lewis said they got a call to the Hostess House just after 10:00 a.m. about a trespasser. A few minutes later a second call came in about a shooting.
The chief described 59-year-old Troy Kellum as a squatter at the motel.
“I have been told that the suspect in this incident didn’t have a place to stay and that he had been squatting here and at other places,” said the chief. “He had been discovered trespassing and squatting here earlier which prompted the owner to call and have him removed.”
The standoff itself lasted several hours with authorities trying to talk Kellum into giving up.
“Our negotiators from our SRT team were on the telephone with him and talked to him for a fairly lengthy period of time in an effort to get him to come out of the room where he was barricaded and to give himself up peacefully,” said Sheriff Asa Buck.
The sheriff said those efforts failed and as the tactical team entered the room, Kellum shot himself with a handgun.
Chief Lewis says the motel owner, 46-year-old Satyen Naik, died at the hospital. “It’s a family-owned business and he operated this business daily with his family,” said the chief.
Dwayne McCoo says he witnessed the standoff and believes its truly tragic for everyone involved.
“This is the time when everybody gets together,” McCoo said. “Now it’s going to be a bad time to get together for someone’s family.”
Newport Elementary, Newport Middle, and Carteret Preschool were put on the soft lockdowns as a precaution. Authorities say no one could leave those campuses and deputies were at the schools.
Authorities say Kellum was homeless, but was from Carteret County.