KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two of three federal agents injured during a fiery weekend shootout at a Kansas motel have been released from the hospital, authorities said Monday as investigators sought to identify the body found inside the suspect’s charred motel room.
Two deputy marshals were treated and released after sustaining gunshot wounds during the Saturday night confrontation in Topeka, said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshals Service’s headquarters in Washington. The FBI said one of its agents also received non-life-threatening injuries, though that person’s medical status wasn’t clear Monday.
Members of a fugitive task force were trying to arrest 28-year-old robbery suspect Orlando J. Collins at the Country Club Motel when they came under fire as they approached one of the lodging rooms, the FBI said. A fire then erupted in that room before spreading through the motel.
Bridget Patton, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s regional office in Kansas City, Missouri, said she was not immediately aware of what sparked the blaze. She said the local fire marshal and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were handling that matter.
Collins, who was being sought on a federal robbery warrant and was believed by police to have a penchant for arson during a recent crime spree, was on the state’s most wanted list and considered armed and dangerous.
Shawnee County’s coroner, Charles F.K. Glenn, declined on Monday to publicly discuss efforts to identify the body, telling The Associated Press only that “we are working on it.” The FBI has declined to confirm whether Collins was arrested.
Topeka police said Collins was suspected of a March 30 armed holdup and of shooting at an occupied home. Less than a week later, Collins was identified as a person of interest in connection with an attempted robbery of a grocery store and a holdup of a convenience store less than a half-hour apart, police said in a news release.
They said unspecified evidence found in a 1996 Audi burning at a car wash linked him to those crimes.
Then last Friday, police said, Collins was identified as someone sought for questioning for allegedly using a gun to rob a tobacco store, then stealing a 2011 Nissan Sentra that was parked outside. The car later was found abandoned and ablaze.