Justen Brandon told police he shot the three victims Wednesday in a domestic dispute, authorities said. He was arrested that evening after riding in a limousine to a casino 80 miles away.
Brandon was booked into the Bernalillo County Detention Center Thursday morning. Bond was set at $3 million.
The victims were identified as Melanie Frank and her two children, Malachi Frank, 5, and Micah Brandon, 17 months. Brandon had checked into the hotel on Dec. 29 with the victims, authorities said.
Several guests called police about hearing gunshots on the top floor of the 411-room Marriott Hotel, located in one of the city's busiest areas.
CBS affiliate KRQE News 13 reports that psychological services, a special unit that briefs officers working a particularly gruesome and stressful crime, had been called out to the scene, along with the city's SWAT team and hundreds of officers.
As police searched room-to-room, hotel functions were canceled and some guests were told to stay in their rooms. Others were taken to the lobby and questioned by police for about an hour and then allowed to leave.
Police found Brandon after getting a tip from a limousine company, police Chief Jerry Galvin said.
The limousine had picked Brandon up at a mall across the street from the hotel and headed for the Cities of Gold Casino at Pojoaque north of Santa Fe. Police met the limousine as it arrived at the casino and arrested Brandon in the parking lot, authorities said.
Brandon told detectives the handgun used in the shootings and the clothing he had on at the time were left in the limousine, authorities said.
Sources close to the investigation tell KRQE Crime Reporter Darren White that Brandon may have recently stolen thousands of dollars from his grandmother, and they beleve that money was used to pay for the hotel and limousine.
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