“I think in the history of the hotel, in 30 years, this is the first time something like this has ever happened,” Laraine Harper, manager of the hotel in Pahrump, Nevada, told the Pahrump Valley Times.
What happened? The frightening incident began in the early hours of Sunday morning when a man brandishing a Glock 22 pistol forced a woman, whose name has not been released, into her own vehicle. The motive for the gunpoint abduction remains unknown, as does the relationship if any between the kidnapper and his female victim.
But when Las Vegas police were alerted to the kidnapping at 4:19 am, the information they got was that the suspect was extremely upset and actually fired at least one shot in the course of forcing the woman into the car. Reportedly, he fired the shot into the air as a threat.
About an hour and 20 minutes later, Las Vegas cops tracked the vehicle to the parking lot of the Best Western Pahrump Station at 1101 South Highway 160 in Pahrump, an unicorporated community of about 36,000 at the southern tip of Nye County, about an hour by car west of Las Vegas.
At that point, the Las Vegas police brought Nye County authorities into the pursuit. The Nye County Sheriff’s Office called in a hostage negotiator — and a SWAT team. The police figured out in which room suspect and hostage had taken refuge.
The hostage negotiator called the room, and also called the man’s phone. By now they had identified the kidnapper as 29-year-old Ferdinand Lariosa, according to The Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Lariosa barricaded himself into the Best Western hotel room.
Nye County Assistant Sheriff continued to attempt negotiations with Lariosa, but the effort went nowhere. The suspect didn’t pick up either phone and didn’t answer officers through the door.
It was now approximately 7 am. Police evacuated guests from neighboring rooms, gathering them in a common area. And the the SWAT team prepared to break down the door to the ring. But the drama was over before they got inside.
“Due to the incident, being a hostage situation the NCSO SWAT team was cleared to make entry into the room for Hostage Rescue, as the entry was being made NCSO SWAT deputies heard a single shot fired,” the sherrif’s department said in a later statement.
When the SWAT officers got inside the room, they found Lariosa dead on the floor, with a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
His victim was shaken, but otherwise unharmed.
Detectives with both the Las Vegas Metro Police and in Nye County are now investigating what set Lariosa off, to the point the he kidnapped a woman at gunpoint and then committed suicide.