Standoff at San Rafael hotel ends, suspect found dead 

A man who barricaded himself in a San Rafael hotel room during a marathon police standoff that started early Wednesday morning was found dead in the room Thursday afternoon, police said.

Peter James Thomas, 38, stopped talking to police late Wednesday night, San Rafael police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said. He had been in communication with them throughout the day Wednesday, and then nothing, she
said.

The drop in communication prompted police to use cameras to see what was going on inside the room.

They drilled holes through the walls of the room and inserted cameras, and saw Thomas lying motionless on the ground, Rohrbacher said.

Officers forced entry into the room and found Thomas dead inside, she said.

His girlfriend was also in the room and was not hurt. Police will interview her to figure out her involvement in the standoff, Rohrbacher said.

Her name has not been released.

Rohrbacher said Thomas was wanted by the Marin County Sheriff's Office on a $70,000 warrant for burglary, weapons and drug violations.

Police went to the Extended Stay Deluxe hotel at 1775 Francisco Blvd. East around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday because they received word that Thomas, who was being sought in connection with a stabbing on Sunday, was staying
there.

After officers arrived, Thomas allegedly fired a shot toward I-580 from his window, and the California Highway Patrol shut down the freeway between U.S. Highway 101 and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. The Richmond-San
Rafael bridge was also initially closed.

The bridge was soon reopened, but I-580 remained closed until 1 a.m. Thursday, when a metal sheet was raised by crane over the window of Thomas' room to block any gunfire, according to police and the CHP.

Police were treading lightly with the gunman because his girlfriend was believed to be inside the room with him, Rohrbacher said.

"We believe it's possible she is being held against her will," Rohrbacher said.

Police did not immediately confirm Thursday afternoon that that was the case.

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