Police: Man Fatally Shot After Taking Motel Clerk Hostage

An officer fatally shot a man who took a clerk hostage Tuesday inside the La Quinta Motor Inn located at 1820 Central Expressway, Plano police said.

The officer went to the motel to investigate a 911 hang-up call at about 11 a.m. and found Joseph Randall Cupit holding a knife to a clerk's throat, police said.  The officer fired several shots when Cupit ignored commands to drop the knife, police said.

"This individual meant business so we had to neutralize him as soon as possible," said Officer Rick McDonald.

The 53-year-old man was taken to the Medical Center of Plano where he died, police said. The hostage was not injured.

A bomb tech was requested to examine a bag that Cupit left inside the business, police said. Investigators said a bomb robot was used to remove the bag from the business due to the nature of the incident.

A witness said the bag resembled a lunch box or cooler. There was no word on where the bag was found inside the motel. 

Police said Cupit's last known residence was in Plano. Police said they are investigating his motive.  

"We believe his intent was to rob the hotel," McDonald said.

The officer involved, a 24-year veteran of the police force, has been placed on paid administrative leave.

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