By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
A man suspected of shooting into a vehicle Wednesday is in custody at the Clarke County Jail after being arrested in Meridian.
Clarke County Sheriff Todd Kemp said Gregory Allan Dillard, 30, of Enterprise, was handed over to investigators there after a three hour standoff with Meridian Police Department authorities Wednesday at the Quality Inn at 1401 Roebuck Drive.
MPD Chief James Reed said the standoff ended without a shot being fired or anyone
Kemp said Dillard was wanted on an aggravated assault charge after an indictment for his arrest was issued recently by a Clarke County grand jury. Kemp said a bench warrant was issued when Dillard did not show up for court on the charge. Kemp said early Wednesday morning Dillard reportedly shot several times into a vehicle in Enterprise. The vehicle, Kemp said, was owned by the victim in the aggravated assault case. Kemp said no one was in the vehicle at the time of the alleged shooting and no injuries were reported.
"We were looking for him because of the bench warrant and he was our primary suspect in the shooting Wednesday," Kemp said. "We had no idea he was going to Meridian."
Reed said Dillard checked into the hotel early Wednesday afternoon. At some point, Dillard kicked down a door leading to an adjoining hotel room and told that room's occupant that he was armed and wanted. At some point the hostage was able to escape and they notified the hotel management who in turn notified the MPD, Reed said.
"When we got the call of the situation around 3:35 p.m., we responded to the location and blocked off the area and then called in the SWAT team," Reed said.
Once the hotel was secure, Reed said hostage negotiators began talking with Dillard, encouraging him to give up without any violence. Reed said Kemp was in Meridian at the time of the standoff and lent his assistance.
"I and my wife were celebrating her birthday with supper in Meridian when I was notified of the situation," Kemp said. "I have known Dillard a long time and I thought I might get him to come out without any further trouble. I guess he didn't want to listen to me but the MPD negotiators did a good job of resolving this issue."
Reed said Dillard was transported to the Clarke County line later Wednesday night where deputies took him to the county jail. Dillard also has three outstanding misdemeanor warrants in Lauderdale County for possession of marijuana, no vehicle insurance and suspended drivers license.