A former Long Beach Marriott hotel cook who threatened to carry out a mass shooting pleaded no contest Monday to two felony counts of criminal threats and could face nearly four years in prison, authorities said.
Long Beach police thwarted a potential mass shooting in August when they arrested Rodolfo Montoya, 37, at his Huntington Beach home, where a cache of weapons was found. Officers seized multiple high-powered firearms, including an assault rifle, 38 high-capacity magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Police said Montoya told a co-worker that he planned to go to work and shoot everybody he saw at the hotel. He was angry about a human-resources issue, according to investigators. The co-worker notified police, and officers took Montoya into custody the following day.
Police said the specifics of Montoya’s plan as well as his access to firearms caused particular concern, prompting the arrest.
“Suspect Montoya had clear plans, intent and the means to carry out an act of violence that may have resulted in a mass casualty incident,” Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said at the time of his arrest.
Montoya lived in a motor home in an alley behind a cluster of industrial businesses along Jacquelyn Lane in Huntington Beach. Residents described the area as generally quiet, while neighbors said that Montoya mostly kept to himself and that they would occasionally see him on his way to work.
Previous charges against Montoya of one count each of dissuading a witness by force or threat and possession of an assault weapon — a Colt AR-15 rifle — are being dropped as part of a plea deal, according to D.A. spokesman Ricardo Santiago.
Sentencing for Montoya — the maximum of which is three years and eight months — is scheduled for Jan. 27.