Winston-Salem police are following leads in the shooting death of a man whose body was found Saturday in a hotel room on Peters Creek Parkway, authorities said Monday.

Rayshawn Lydell Hickson, 34, who had no permanent address, was the victim of an apparent shooting at the Innkeeper Motor Lodge at 2115 Peters Creek Parkway, police said. No arrests have been made.

“We have leads that we are following,” police Lt. Steven Tollie said. “We have been out there all morning.”

Investigators also are trying to determine the motive for the shooting, Tollie said. There were no witnesses.

Leah Miller, the hotel’s manager, declined to comment on the shooting.

The hotel has a troubled history, according to a lawsuit filed in July 2011.

Michael Forrest Jones, a former employee, alleged in the lawsuit that the hotel was a public nuisance that ignored illegal activity such as drug dealing and prostitution and employed a security guard with a criminal record. Jones filed the lawsuit in Forsyth Superior Court.

Jones filed the lawsuit against Daly Seven and Jon Daly Jr., a vice president of the company. Daly Seven, based in Danville, Va., is a family-owned business that operates 36 hotels in North Carolina and Virginia. It sold the Innkeeper to Khan & Khan Inc. in 2013, according to Forsyth County tax records.

Aman and Athar Khan couldn’t be reached Monday to comment about the shooting on their property.

Jones worked as a night auditor for less than a year but was fired on July 15, 2011, for gross misconduct, which he alleged in the lawsuit was a wrongful termination and related to his raising questions about the hotel's operation, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleged Daly Seven ignored illegal activity at the hotel, including underage drinking, drug dealing and prostitution. Many of the rooms, the lawsuit said, weren’t monitored by the hotel's employees in the front office, resulting in people not registered as guests wandering the property and engaging in illegal activity.

Bob Daly, a vice president with Daly Seven, denied the lawsuit’s allegations.

Jones also alleged in the lawsuit that the hotel rented rooms to known drug dealers and sex offenders and had numerous vehicle break-ins, domestic disturbances and property stolen from rooms.

Jones said Monday that his lawsuit has been settled, but he declined to comment about the details of the settlement because he signed a confidentiality agreement.

“The new owners have an effort to clean the place up and get control of it,” Jones said. “It (the shooting) could have happened at any hotel.”

City Attorney Angela Carmon declined to comment on whether the city will take steps to close the hotel.

Earlier this year, The Royal Inn at 200 S. Broad St. closed after the city of Winston-Salem filed a nuisance abatement lawsuit against the business.

Residents in the West Salem neighborhood had complained that the motel had attracted illegal activity such as prostitution, assaults and drug use, and the motel’s owners did little to prevent those activities.


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