Downtown hotel guest's car shot up during Memphis stay

A stay in a Memphis hotel cost a couple of visitors a lot more than they bargained for.

Joe Staten came to Memphis as a tourist. He checked in to this hotel and left his car with the valet.

At 5 am hotel management called and it was a wake up call he hadn't anticipated.

Joe Staten was one of three tourists staying at the downtown Radisson who got the same early morning call.

Mr. Staten - a hotel manager said - you'd better come to the parking garage.

"Someone had gotten in there and vandalized our cars by shooting them up with a nine millimeter and a 38," said Staten by phone from his home in Fenton, Missouri, where he described how he had felt sure he would be safe. He had his car parked by a valet in a protected garage.

"I was shocked. They shot out two windows in my vehicle. They shot out the locking mechanism on the tailgate and they did put a bullet hole in the aluminum and it looked like I myself had been involved in some kind of criminal activity from the looks of my vehicle," he said.

Staten and two other hotel guests suffered gunshot damage to their vehicles. Police reports estimate the total damage to three vehicles nearing $50,000. The guests were given free rooms and left with rental cars but are still fighting the Radisson to cover the damage.

Meanwhile, no one has been arrested. Police say downtown shootings are rare and random.

"In a city such as memphis or any other city, these types of things occur randomly. It doesn't have any indication that anyone was a target in this. This looks like it was a straight vandalism," said Police spokesman Vince Higgins. He says MPD is investigating the shooting and will work with the hotel and downtown patrols to watch for these types of crimes.

We left several messages for the manager at the Radisson today.

They have not been returned.