Shawnee County officials are trying to determine the identity of a body found in the charred debris of a burned-out Topeka motel. The Country Club Motel erupted in flames Saturday night, during a shootout with federal agents. The gunfight began when agents were trying to arrest a robbery suspect who was believed to be staying at the motel. KPR’s J. Schafer has more.
The U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force was trying to capture 28-year-old Orlando Collins, an armed robbery suspect on the state’s Most Wanted list. Around 10 o’clock Saturday night, members of the task force approached the motel room where Collins was thought to be staying. Shots were fired from inside that room, wounding two deputy U.S. marshals and one FBI agent. At the same time, authorities say a fire was started inside the room, which spread to the rest of the motel, burning for hours and destroying much of the building. Afterwards, in the same room where the suspect was believed to be holed-up, an unidentified body was discovered. Authorities are now trying to ID that body. The three injured federal agents are all expected to recover. I’m J. Schafer in Topeka.