Police apprehend one vehicle after shots fired at Howard Johnson

Police apprehended one car of people believed to be at the scene of a shooting at Howard Johnson earlier today and were still looking for another vehicle that fled the scene.

Howard Johnson, 1052 Boston Post Road, was cordoned off by police Thursday afternoon as they investigated shots fired in the parking lot.

Police responded to a complaint of shots fired Thursday afternoon at about 1 p.m. Officers learned there was a dispute in the parking lot, which led to gunfire.

One vehicle fled the scene, engaging police in a pursuit.

Around 2 p.m., police around the area were advised to watch for a suspect in a Toyota Tundra, said to be carrying a handgun.

Police spokesman Jeff Nielsen said the car that was apprehended Thursday afternoon was stopped on the Orange/Milford line. The people inside the car were being questioned. The car was not the one that led police on a pursuit earlier, but was at the scene when the shots were fired, Nielsen said.

Police believe that two groups of people were involved in a dispute that led to gunfire. Several shots were reportedly fired from both sides, he said.

There were no reported injuries, but police scoured the area for several hours, looking for evidence.

Robert Petroske, a school crossing guard who has been staying at Howard Johnson for three weeks, decided after Thursday’s incident that he would pack up and leave.

Petroske said he walked to Burger King down the street to get a hamburger the night before, and the business had just been robbed.

When he came home from work Thursday to find police investigating gun shots being fired outside the hotel, he decided that was enough.

“It’s scary,” he said. “I think this has a lot to do with the economy.”

Nielsen said he did not think the Burger King incident and the shooting were connected.

Police are still investigating the incident at Howard Johnson and will release information as it becomes available.