A Rock Hill man whose body was found in woods next to the Bestway Inn on Riverview Road in Rock Hill Monday after a three hour SWAT standoff at the motel died in an apparent suicide, authorities said late Monday.
Holland Wood, 33, of Rock Hill died of a single gunshot wound, York County Coroner Sabrina Gast said. Toxicology tests are pending.
Earlier in the day, a woman told police her estranged husband allegedly held her against her will after assaulting her. A man and woman identifying themselves as Wood’s parents claimed the dispute was over a child custody issue.
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Officers surrounded the motel around 9:20 a.m. believing Wood was barricaded inside after the woman escaped to seek help, said Mark Bollinger, spokesman for the Rock Hill Police Department. Wood was armed with a gun and had a box of ammunition, the victim told police.
McDonald’s employee Chasity Lilly has lived at the Bestway Inn for about two weeks. She said she was coming off break at nearby McDonald’s when the victim came up to her and said “Ma’am can you please help me? I need to find the Rock Hill Police Department.”
Then she saw about 20 police rushing to the motel, including the SWAT team, negotiators and a bomb squad.
Police surrounded the area and moved other motel guests from their rooms. Eventually, SWAT officers went into Wood’s room through the unlocked door and found it empty. A K-9 team of tracking dog and officer went on a search of nearby woods that separates the motel from an auto repair shop, and the dog tracked to the body later identified as Wood.
Jason Nesbit, owner of Bestway Automotive that is on the other side of the woods where the body was found from the motel, said that he and his workers heard a bang or a shot Monday morning and they went outside to check the woods. When police saw Nesbit and his employees looking for the source of the problem, Nesbit said he was told of the emergency hostage situation and to lock himself and employees inside.
A few minutes later, Wood’s mother came to his shop, Nesbit said, and used the phone and then left. She said she talked with her son Sunday and everything was fine.
The blocked off street and police surrounding the motel was cause for concern for several in the area that has several business and motels. One man told police his children were in the Bestway motel. Officers helped him get the children out safely.
Riverview Road was closed between B&B Tire and Days Inn for several hours during the morning standoff. State Rep. Gary Simrill, R-Rock Hill, owns an auto dealership across from the motel. He said his employees were fine.