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David Shaffer, who barricaded himself in America's Best Value Inn, surrenders to police

11:16 AM, Jun 11, 2013   |    comments
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Clearwater, Florida -- A man who barricaded himself in a Clearwater hotel for seven hours early Tuesday morning is now in police custody charged with armed burglary.

Pinellas Sheriff's deputies say they received a call from cab driver Robert Stipins, 34, who told them his car was broken into by a man while it was parked at the Mini Storage facility in the 28400 block of U.S. 19 in Clearwater.

Stipins told police he saw the man, later identified as 23-year-old David Shaffer, leave the facility wearing a his backpack that contained a 45-caliber handgun. He said he tried to approach Shaffer, who told him he would shoot him if he came any closer.

Stipins then reportedly followed Shaffer to the nearby America's Best Value Inn where Shaffer barricaded himself inside a room around 1 a.m.

When deputies arrived, Shaffer refused to come out of his room and threatened to harm them if they tried to get in. At that point, the sheriff's office's SWAT team and negotiator team were called out and set up a perimeter around the hotel.

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After speaking with Shaffer for about an hour, he surrendered to deputies peacefully around 8 a.m.

Shaffer's girlfriend, who was also in the room during the standoff, was not injured.

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