Why were people living at a condemned hotel?
A 20-year-old male suffered three gunshot wounds and is in stable condition after a shooting at the now-closed Comfort Suites in Stevens Point early Thursday morning. The suspect is identified as 24-year-old Cristhian Maradiaga Martinez from West Palm Beach, Florida; the victim is also from West Palm Beach.
Martinez is in custody on charges of attempted homicide and criminally endangering safety.
Police are not releasing any motive to the shooting at this time, but told NewsChannel 7 that the public was not in danger at any time. The victim suffered three bullet wounds, including one to the face, but Stevens Point assistant police chief Tom Zenner says he is awake and communicating with officers.
Officers were called to the 300 block of Division Street N around 3:19 a.m. for reports of a shooting, according to a press release from the Stevens Point Police Department.
Four people were found inside the hotel, which is under construction. All four were living at the hotel while working on construction, according to police. The hotel has been closed since May due to water damage, mold issues and deteriorating conditions.
Mayor Mike Wiza says the owner had made enough repairs on this hotel to allow for their workers to stay in the hotel. It saves the owners on costs of paying for the workers to stay somewhere while they were work. But after this incident all that is changing.
"The incident is tragic and we are going to make sure it never happens again. So that order is now going to be lifted and we will not allow anyone to stay in that building until the building is completed," explained Wiza.
For now the former hotel sits empty with the raze order still on it until it is safe for guests.
I've reached out to the owners for comment many times and they have not returned my messages.