Father of Marist College Student Shot Dead at NY Hotel While Visiting for Parents' Weekend

Courtyard Marriott shooting
The Courtyard Marriott in Poughkeepsie, New York.Courtyard Marriott

Gunfire erupted at a Poughkeepsie Courtyard Marriott, claiming the life of a father visiting during parents' weekend at Marist College.

A father visiting during a family weekend at Marist College was shot dead inside an upstate New York hotel when gunfire erupted in the lobby, authorities said. 

Two men were arrested in connection with the killing, the Poughkeepsie Police Department said in a statement. The Sunday shooting erupted at about 7:30 a.m. 

The Courtyard Marriott was filled with families visiting nearby Marist College for a parents' weekend event, authorities said.

The college confirmed the shooting victim was the father of a student.

"Our deepest condolences go out to the family, and we are offering the full support of the Marist community," the university said in a statement.

The two men arrested have gang ties and are known to local authorities, police said. One suspect was arrested outside the hotel and was carrying a weapon, authorities said. A subsequent search of rooms at the Marriott uncovered "manuals related to the making of explosive devices, as well as materials with the potential to be used as explosives,” Poughkeepsie police said.  “The New York State Police Bomb Squad responded and secured the material.”

Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded, police said.

Marist parent John Bucsek said he and his wife were told to remain in their room while police responded.

"When they took us out, they took us out to a parking lot adjacent to the hotel there, and it was about 75 of us standing out there," Bucsek told WCBS-TV. "It felt like standing in line for a funeral. Everybody was kind of, you know, numb," the father said. 

Freshman student Henry Merli told the station, "I was very scared because my family came all the way from St. Louis and I feel terrible for the family. It's awful."

Neither the victim nor the suspects were identified.

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