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Kokomo man sentenced to 7 years after firing shot in hotel during SWAT standoff

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Kokomo felon who fired a shot into the ceiling of hotel room during a 2021 standoff with a SWAT team has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison.

On April 20, 2021, investigators attempted to arrest Michael Dennis, 38, who had several outstanding warrants, in his hotel room in Kokomo. Dennis refused to let police inside the room and threatened he had a gun, court documents say.

Dennis was not allowed to possess any firearms under federal law due to his previous felony convictions, including criminal recklessness, strangulation, and battery on a child.

After several failed attempts to get Dennis out of the room, officers released pepper spray under the door. Dennis threatened police that he would shoot if the pepper spraying continued; he then fired a shot into the ceiling of the hotel room.

After several hours of negotiations, Dennis surrendered and was taken into custody. Officers found a 9mm pistol inside the room.

Dennis was ordered to be on probation for three years following his release and has to pay a $1,000 fine.

“Every day, law enforcement officers do their duty to protect their public, knowing they may encounter a violent offender with a gun. We have seen far too many tragedies in Indiana, and across the country when, law enforcement officers encounter criminals with a history of domestic violence and a gun in their hands. It is a testament to the skill, professionalism, and training of the responding Howard County Deputies that this defendant was arrested without injury to the public, law enforcement officers, or himself. The sentence imposed today demonstrates the commitment of our office, the ATF, and our law enforcement partners to protect the public from these dangerous offenders.”

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana