TULSA, Okla. — A couple passing through Tulsa from Chicago experienced a nightmare scenario while staying at a Hilton Home 2 Suites hotel in Tulsa Hills in November 2021.
Tom and Lisa Casale — along with their dog Bailey — drive out to Phoenix from Chicago a couple times a year. The couple told FOX23 they always make a stop in Tulsa.
Tom Casale said they have booked a room at this exact hotel several times before.
“[The Hilton Home 2 Suites] has everything you need as a traveler,” Tom said. “It’s always felt clean and safe.”
“It’s great for the dog,” Tom continued. “It’s dog friendly and the rooms are nice.”
Tom recalled shortly after checking into Room 103, the couple heard a loud crash from the room next to their’s.
“Then we noticed there was dust in the room, and we were trying to figure out what it was. After a few seconds I saw behind [Lisa Casale’s] head a hole in the wall where a bullet had gone through,” Tom remembered.
He explained the bullet hole was lodge into the wall behind his wife’s head.
“We trust these hotels we go to. Why? Because you feel secure,” Tom said. “You trust them. It’s a Hilton hotel, right? It’s a good experience so you trust it, and within seconds that trust is absolutely shattered.”
To investigate how something like this could have happened, and what safety measures, if any, hotels have in place to deal with these incidents, FOX23 Investigative Reporter Janna Clark checked in.
Clark requested the same exact hotel room the Casales stayed at when a bullet came from the next door room and embedded in the wall.
“Immediately, you start thinking, ‘Is there a shooter next door?’ Because of all the stories you’ve heard. And, ‘Is there going to be a second shoot?’” Tom explained.
The couple recalled ducking down and moved next to the door of their room.
“We stayed there a few seconds, and I said, ‘I’m going to get the night clerk,’” he said.
Tom continued, “I thought about that when I ran into the hallway. ‘Is there someone behind me? Someone running around the rest of the hotel?’”
Tom got the night clerk’s attention, and the pair rushed back to their room. The clerk quickly called 911. The couple thankfully wasn’t injured, but their sense of security had been shattered.
“I [didn’t] feel comfortable knowing there could be a loaded firearm next door,” he said.
When Tulsa police arrived and checked out Room 103, no one was inside.
The report from Tulsa police only indicated basic information. There were no details, but police told FOX23 that they don’t know how many people were in the room. Police believe whoever fired the shot ran out of the room and out a nearby side door exit.
Police also said they believed the person registered to the room wasn’t even there at the time. Police say the man registered to the room might have handed out multiple key cards to other people.
Tom said the hotel manager gave them a different room, and Lisa and their dog stayed in there while he spoke to police.
“I realized in hindsight my wife was terrified, and the dog was shaking still,” Tom recalled.
Police checked the surveillance cameras to try and identify the shooter, but the cameras weren’t working.
FOX23′s Janna Clark saw the video cameras when she checked in. The cameras are all over the property, but there is no way for guests to know if they are working or not.
Tom said it’s been hard to feel safe since that happened in November. That night, he couldn’t sleep despite being moved to a new room. At the time, he scanned Hilton’s website to find more information on safety protocols in their hotels. This is how he found out that this specific Home 2 Suites isn’t run by Hilton. It’s a franchise.
FOX23′s Janna Clark saw various signs and information posted around the hotel, but there was nothing indicating the hotel was a franchise.
Clark also didn’t find any posted information on the hotel’s gun policy.
FOX23 reached out to Hilton about the issue, and a spokesperson emailed back:
“Hilton’s Corporate Policy ... prohibits firearms ... with the exception of authorized law enforcement officers.
The intent of the policy is to provide safety and security for guests and staff members.
In states like Oklahoma — where concealed or open carry permits are allowed — guests can store their unloaded firearms in a safe deposit box provided by the hotel.”
Hilton also told FOX23 that their franchised properties determine their own with respect to allowing firearms on property.
“[The policy] is not cool because the situation could happen somewhere else. It was reckless,” Tom said.
Tom said the hotel staff got them a free dinner and a voucher to stay there again in the future.
“Offering me a free dinner, putting me in a dirty room and giving me a one night to use within 12 months doesn’t relieve any stress or concern we had about the situation,” Tom said.
Tom emailed Hilton to address the situation.
A Corporate Guest Relations Specialist emailed back, “We wanted to make sure that your concerns were resolved to your satisfaction.”
“It was a form letter. We got shot it. It was a form letter, and it was absolutely inadequate,” Tom said.
Tom said he and his wife still don’t rest easy about that night, and Tulsa police said they still don’t know who fired the gun.
Since the gunshot incident Tom and his wife went through in November 2021, FOX23 checked to see if other crimes were reported in this area.
Tulsa police said in February 2022, someone stole a car in the hotel parking lot. Then police arrested someone for public urination.
In March 2022, a man refused to leave the hotel and was arrested.
In April, someone broke into a car and stole things out of it. A few days later, another person was caught looking into cars in the parking lot.
In May, someone broke into a car again.
FOX23′s Janna Clark did spend the night at the hotel, and she said nothing bad happened. She also said the stay was quiet, and staff were courteous and professional.
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