Federal officers shot during incident at Topeka motel

(KSNT/Nate Tacey)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – On Saturday, federal and local law enforcement agencies encountered an active shooter situation that injured three officers. There is currently no word on if the suspect has been caught, or is dead or alive.

The incident happened at the Country Club Motel on SW 37th Street and SW Topeka Boulevard.

Just before 10 p.m., the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force was executing a federal arrest warrant for 28-year-old Orlando J. Collins at the motel. Bridget Patton with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Kansas City, Mo. said she did not have information about where Collins is from.

The federal warrant had been issued on April 20, charging him with two counts of Interference with Commerce by Means of Robbery. Collins was on the Kansas Most Wanted list and was considered armed and dangerous. “Logical investigation,” according to the FBI, led investigators to determine that Collins was at the motel.

Orlando J. Collins
Orlando J. Collins

Collins had been sought as a person of interest on Friday in connection with a carjacking and a holdup that happened in the same area as Saturday’s events. Collins is also at the center of the April 6 attempted robbery at the Brookwood Shopping Center Dillions on SW 29th Street and the April 4 armed robbery at the Kwik Shop at 37th and Humboldt.

Members of the task force approached the motel room door on Saturday night and came under fire, with shots coming from inside the motel room. Two Deputy United States Marshals and an FBI Agent experienced non-life-threatening injuries. Patton tells KSNT News the three officers were injured “as a result of gunfire.”

“They sustained non-life-threatening injuries and they were transported to a local hospital for assistance,” Lt. Colleen Stuart with the Topeka Police Department.

After continued gunfire, investigators believe a fire started in the room where Collins was and spread to the whole building. Patton said it is too early to determine if the fire was set intentionally.

The Topeka Fire Department battled the blaze for three hours and the County Club Motel was in ashes by the end of it.

“The fire department is still working at the scene to get it put out,” said TFD Fire Marshal Michael Martin. “I think we have it under control. We are doing some salvage and overhaul right now.”

A body was found in the room where Collins was believed to be, but officials have not yet confirmed the identity of that person.

UPDATE: KSNT News has acquired this video of when shots were fired during the incident. This video was provided to us courtesy of Rebecca Layne.

The hotel had been evacuated and no other occupants were injured.

Residents who live nearby said they heard the gunshots, at first thinking they were firecrackers. “I first heard the gun shots at Walmart while I was talking to my friend and we were wondering what exactly what it was,” said Topeka resident Christian Brull. “There was a couple of shots going on.” “And I heard pop pop pop, and then looked around,” said Topeka resident Lindsay Haight. “Fully automatic weapon for sure, it sounded like,” added Emerson King, also a Topeka Resident.

We will continue to follow this story, both online and on-air as it develops.

The 3700 block of Topeka Boulevard did not reopen until 10 a.m. The FBI is currently processing the crime scene. ATF and the fire marshal are conducting a fire investigation. TPD, Kansas Highway Patrol and the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office are assisting.

KSNT News’ Tyler Carter was on the scene last night and live-streamed the scene on our Facebook page. One of them has been embedded below. You can view the other here.

 

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