Lakewood murder suspect found dead at Westlake Red Roof Inn - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Lakewood murder suspect found dead at Westlake Red Roof Inn

Lakewood SWAT head to Westlake Red Roof Inn (Source: WOIO) Lakewood SWAT head to Westlake Red Roof Inn (Source: WOIO)
Carsten Thomas of Pittsburgh, patron of Westlake Red Roof Inn (Source: WOIO) Carsten Thomas of Pittsburgh, patron of Westlake Red Roof Inn (Source: WOIO)
WESTLAKE, OH (WOIO) - After an hour and a half stand off with a person suspected of committing an early morning murder, the Lakewood SWAT team got their man but he was already dead.

While out on assignment covering the fatal shooting of 49-year-old Charles W. Junke, 19 Action News reporter Denise Zarrella and her photographer Eric Walls noticed several Lakewood SWAT vehicles and a tactical command truck pulling out of the station's lot.

The duo decided to follow the caravan, unaware of whether or not it was related to the Eldred Avenue incident.

The line of vehicles ended up in the city of Westlake, at the Red Roof Inn.

We later learned that a tipster told police the suspect was staying there.

"During the course of our investigation we got information that our suspect was possibly in a hotel room here," said Capt. Ed Hassing of the Lakewood Police Department.

At 11:15 a.m. hotel guests were evacuated to safety.

"We just came out, and an officer came around from the side and said, 'stay down,'” described Carsten Thomas, a guest staying at the hotel from Pittsburgh.

Even our team was directed to another location in order to get out of the line of fire.

After about an hour of working to secure room 106, the 53-year-old suspect from Avon, identified as Jeffrey F. Null by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, was found dead inside.

"They tried to call the room several times, no answer. We breached the door with a ram, and we found the gentleman deceased in the room with a possible gunshot wound to the head," added Capt. Hassing.

Police say it looks like the suspect committed suicide.

Police aren't saying what the motive in Junke's murder may be, but say Junke knew the suspect.

Detectives are not looking for anymore suspects.

Assisting on scene were officers from Fairview Park and Bay Village.

Due to the use of good judgment, 19 Action News was the first to arrive at the Red Roof Inn, making the connection between the stand off with Lakewood SWAT and the early morning tragedy.

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