Stand off

Police on the scene at the Comfort Inn off Route 30 in Absecon.

Michael Ein

ABSECON — A reported gunman inside the Comfort Inn caused a two-hour shutdown of the White Horse Pike on Thursday, but no arrests were made.

About 100 police searched the hotel for more than five hours, but no suspect was located, police Chief David Risley said Thursday evening.

A maintenance worker called police at about 10:45 a.m. saying he was in the eighth-floor boiler room when a man came in whom he did not recognize, Risley said. When the worker asked who he was, the man pulled out a gun.

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The worker, whose name was not released, fled and called police, who arrived about a minute later, Risley said.

Officers from Atlantic City, Pleasantville and Galloway Township, were called along with State Police and the Atlantic County Emergency Response Team.

Lema Reynolds said management came to her room Thursday morning and first told her not to answer the door and just look out her peep hole. But a short time later, she was told to leave the room.

"I knew something was going on," she said, as she held her 6-week-old baby after guests were allowed to return to their rooms.

She, her eight children and one grandchild have been staying in three rooms since being displaced from their home in Atlantic City's Inlet by Hurricane Sandy.

About 20 rooms were occupied, Risley said.

Once the guests were brought into the conference room, they were told what was going on, Reynolds said.

"The (police) were pretty good," she said. "They kept coming back and letting us know what was going on."

She said they also eventually brought them something to eat and drink.

Meanwhile, about 100 police officers, including three Emergency Response Teams and four K-9s began a search from the roof.

Route 30 was closed both ways for about two hours because, Risley said, there was worry that a gunman could go to the roof and start shooting at passing motorists.

After going floor-by-floor, the police chief came out and updated media, saying no one had been found, but a second search was under way.

But, about an hour later, police cleared the scene.

As officers left, Donnell Reynolds — Lema's 21-year-old son — headed outside with his dog, Rock, 5 months.

"He was good," Reynolds said of the pup during the search. "He couldn't go out, but I brought him some water.

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