LONG BEACH, Calif. (CN) – Co-workers of a disgruntled employee at a Marriott hotel are being praised for thwarting a potential mass shooting after police said they found an arsenal of high-powered firearms at the 37-year-old man’s home.
Rodolfo Montoya was arrested after a concerned employee at the hotel told police Montoya threatened to shoot up the business and any guests, according to Police Chief Robert Luna on Wednesday.
Montoya worked at the hotel as a cook and was reportedly upset over a human resources issue, according to police.
Luna thanked hotel manager Imran Ahmed for notifying police of the threats Montoya made.
“I talked to him in my office earlier. I looked him in the eye and I said thank you. Sir, you saved many lives. Not only of your employees but any customers who might have been at the Marriott when this guy decided to show up and carry out his threat,” Luna said.
Montoya was arrested at his home in Huntington Beach on Tuesday, where police found hundreds of rounds of ammunition, multiple guns, along with high-capacity magazine and an assault rifle, which are illegal to possess in California. Montoya was arrested on charges manufacturing and distributing assault weapons, making criminal threats among other charges.
Luna said Montoya shared plans with other employees on how he would carry out a shooting. Police said such an attack would have resulted in numerous deaths.
Police do not know how long Montoya had been stockpiling his arsenal.
“If you hear, see or read any threats of suspicious activity I believe it is your obligation to report it to police,” Luna said.
“It is the only way these types of incidents can be prevented. And because this was reported I firmly believe many lives were saved,” he added.
Ahmed said his staff notified police about Montoya’s comments because they stood out, but also because the staff were trained to respond to such threats.
“We go through our training to prevent things like this to happen,” Ahmed said during a press conference. “They took the proper action that was required.”
Montoya is being held on a $500,000 bail. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.