Police: Man who killed self in traffic had tried to kill motel manager

Posted at: 12/13/2012 11:25 AM
Updated at: 12/13/2012 1:41 PM
By: Tracy Dingmann, KOB.com

Albuquerque police say the man who committed suicide in traffic after a police chase Wednesday had tried to kill a motel manager just minutes before.

APD says the man was "wandering around" outside Premier Motel at 3820 Central on Wednesday. 

On Thursday, police identified him as Mark Meltzer, 41. 

A motel manager called police at 3:15 p.m., saying a man was demanding access to a room but had not rented a room at the motel.

The manager told police the man had demanded a key to access a specific room. He said he escorted him off the property after determining that the room was not registered to him.

The man returned to the property and broke out the window to the hotel room.

The manager confronted him, a brief struggle ensued, and then the man was once again escorted off of the property.

The manager then locked the property gates and returned to his office with another employee.

The manager and employee entered the office to find the man had somehow gained access into the office and was sitting on a couch with his hands behind his back.

As the manager and employee approached the man, the man pulled out a gun, pointed it at the manager’s head and squeezed the trigger.

The manager told police that the gun malfunctioned and as the gunman attempted to fix the weapon, the manager and employee fled to a back room.

They heard a gunshot. It was later determined that the man with the gun shot his weapon into the gas cap of a vehicle in the parking lot of the motel.

Police arrived and pursued the man, later identified as Meltzer. They followed his car to the area of Central and San Mateo, where they immobilized it with a marked police vehicle.

Shortly after the vehicle was immobilized, the man drew his weapon and shot himself in the head.

He was pronounced dead by paramedics on scene.

According to police, at no time did any officers shoot their firearms on scene.

A full Violent Crimes call out was initiated and the shooting was treated as an in-custody death.

Officers from both State Police and BCSO arrived on scene to assist with the investigation. 

Warrants were served on the room at the Premier Motel, as well as the vehicle the male subject was in.

According to police, a second handgun was later found in the vehicle.

The investigation is still ongoing.

Stay with KOB for updates on this breaking news story.