DeKalb County

Federal agents investigating hazmat situation that sent officers to hospital

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Federal agents are investigating after police found a man dead inside a DeKalb County motel, and then a chemical odor sent officers to the hospital.

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Channel 2's Wendy Halloran said agents with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were investigating inside the room late Saturday night.

“We have a dead body in the room and we can’t make any determination on cause of death until they have cleared the scene,” Shiera Campbell, with the DeKalb County Police Department, said.

All police had determined was there was body a man inside a room on the third floor of the United Inn on Memorial Driver in Decatur.

Guests told Halloran that they were stunned when they were told they needed to evacuate their rooms.

“We were all in the sun standing out for a long time when I did find out what was going on. It was kind of sad,” a hotel guest, who only identified himself as Bryan, told Halloran.

Once inside the room, three DeKalb County police officers knew something was very wrong.


“The officers were feeling a little bit dizzy, weren’t feeling too much like themselves, so they quickly came out of the room,” Capt. Eric Jackson with Dekalb County Fire and Rescue said.

The strong chemical smell sent three officers to the hospital. Firefighters then put on hazmat suits and went inside.

“Based on the samples we took we are going to try to attempt to identify whatever that source was,” Jackson told Halloran.

Hour after hour went by Saturday as forensic investigators waited to see if they could go inside to process the scene and the medical examiner remove the body.

Motel guests waited and watched. Some had to move to other rooms.

Hazmat trucks pulled in late in the night, with all signs pointing to something potentially deadly inside that motel room.

It is still unclear what was inside the room.

Police said late Saturday night the body was that of a 48-year-old man.