Hotel guest found with rifle in room overlooking Chicago lakefront

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CHICAGO (WGN) — A man was taken into custody after a .308 caliber rifle, high-powered scope, a semi-automatic pistol, and ammunition were found in his hotel room overlooking Chicago’s lakefront over the holiday weekend.

Keegan Casteel, 32, of Ankeny, Iowa is facing two felony charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. A source tells WGN a hotel employee alerted police after making the discovery on Sunday, July 4 at the W Hotel on North Lake Shore Drive.  

It’s unclear whether Casteel had any sinister intentions for the weapons. Police said he did not possess a valid Illinois Firearms Identification Card.

Hotel employees around the country were put on alert after the 2017 massacre in Las Vegas in which a lone gunman shot and killed 60 people and wounded several hundred others from a room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel overlooking a country music festival. 

In the wake of that shooting, police departments across the country worked with hotel staff on ways they might detect a person who is bringing weapons into a facility.

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