BEVERLY HILLS— On Thursday, January 1, Beverly Hills Police Department arrested an armed suspect, Joseph Leonardi, 41, at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. Leonardi was booked and taken into custody on charges of “felon in possession of a firearm” and “negligent discharge of a firearm,” according to a press release by Lieutenant Andrew Myers.
At around 9:39 a.m., BHPD responded to 850 Wilshire Boulevard, for a call from hotel staff requesting a welfare check on a male guest – Leonardi – staying at the hotel who they believed was armed. Prior to officers arriving, hotel security allegedly knocked on Leonardi’s door and heard, “I’m going to shoot through the door!,” Lieutenant Myers said.
BHPD utilized a drone and observed the suspect on his room balcony with a gun in hand. Resources began to arrive on scene – including SWAT personnel, Crisis Negotiation (CNT) personnel, detectives, and mutual aid resources – when BHPD officers requested Leonardi to exit his room unarmed. He complied and Leonardi was safely taken into custody.
The preliminary investigation revealed that Leonardi, a resident of Woodland Hills, is a convicted felon and had fired several rounds inside the hotel room. Details of the firearm were not disclosed and no injuries were reported.
This is an ongoing investigation.