Family of man in motel standoff speak - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Family of man in motel standoff speak

Eddie Collins (Source: Lee County, Florida Sheriff) Eddie Collins (Source: Lee County, Florida Sheriff)
KILLEN, AL (WAFF) -

The family of the man who led officers on a 30 plus hour standoff at a motel in Killen gives us some insight into his life. Eddie Collins and Venita Keen were both killed Friday when authorities stormed their room at the Super 8 Motel.

Eddie Collins brother, sister and daughter spoke out Sunday. Some of the family knew he had been at the Super 8 Motel for a couple of months, while some hadn't spoken to him in quite some time.

The motel manager and the family took me inside the room. The family is still trying to figure out what happened and what led up to Eddie Collins barricading himself and his wife in the room for so long.

READ MORE: Suspect and woman dead after being shot at Killen standoff

"I wanted him to go in a different direction in his life," said Jeff Collins.

Jeff Collins looks at what's left of the motel room where his little brother and sister-in-law’s last moments were. He said Eddie struggled with addiction to heroin and was battling cancer. "Venita is a very good person she should have never been tied up into this and I feel really bad," Collins said.

He said during the standoff Eddie kept lying to police on how many people were in the room and wouldn't let Venita leave him. "They had food in there where they had eaten where they were barricaded with pillows,” Collins explained. "Multiple holes in the wall where they shot the tear gas in and then all of the blood where they were shot."

The family came to try and collect any belongings to give to Venita and Eddie’s children and to get answers. "So I really want to know the truth in the moments and all the stuff that happened to them and how,” Collins said. “Why they couldn't wait any longer, why did Chief Ron Tyler said he had to make the move when they made the move."

Questions they hope the investigation will reveal. As the family tries to cope with the loss, their thankful no one else got hurt.

"He wasn't in his right state of mind there are no words to describe the loss that I feel but I take peace in mind that they are in God’s hands and I take peace in mind that no one else was hurt in this," said Brianna Collins.

"I really do appreciate the officers and prayed for them and their families,” Jeff Collins said. “My whole family did and there was a lot of love and support from this town.”

The family said they're having a candlelight memorial at the Super 8 Motel on Monday October 10 at 5 p.m. They would like to meet people in town who prayed for their family.

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