Standoff at Moss Point hotel ends peacefully after man barricades himself in room

Updated: Jul. 21, 2020 at 7:36 AM CDT
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MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - A four-hour standoff at a Moss Point hotel ended after authorities successfully negotiated a peaceful surrender from the suspect.

It began early Tuesday morning at the Comfort Inn on Highway 63 in Moss Point. Witnesses say Mario Whitney barricaded himself in a third-floor room, busting out the window and throwing things from the room. According to authorities, Whitney had a gun.

Authorities from multiple agencies responded. Moss Point firefighters positioned their ladder truck at the hotel window in an attempt to get him out of the room.

That’s where Moss Point Assistant Police Chief and law enforcement veteran Jim Roe come in. Roe climbed up the ladder and went into the room with Whitney.

“I was just weighing the options,” Roe said. “I just kept pushing little by little. If I felt any push back, I would back off a little bit.”

Roe felt he was put in the right place at the right time to help. Not long ago, Roe was enjoying retired life, but recently decided to get back into law enforcement.

“So I just tried to talk him down, and he finally let me climb the ladder and let me get in the room with him. We chatted a little bit and he finally decided to come down.”

Whitney’s decision to come down without incident was much to the delight of all involved, including David Keys.

“I just came to talk to him and let him know I was there for him,” Keys said. “He didn’t trust all the officers around him. I had to comfort him and let him know that the officer was here to protect him and help him down and to make sure he didn’t get hurt.”

He didn’t, and neither did anyone else. Whitney was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Police are still investigating the incident.

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