ST. PAUL (WCCO) — St. Paul Police say they’ve arrested a man they believe tried to rob a convenience store at gunpoint, striking a child in the process.
Andrew Kenneth Nickles, 26, was arrested Thursday evening. Police say they think he was the man who attempted to rob the Corner Express Foods convenience store on the 1600 block of East Seventh Street on March 7.
As of Friday evening, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office charged Nickles with one count of attempted aggravated robbery. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $17,500.
Surveillance video showed a man investigators say was Nickles approaching the cashier’s counter where two children were standing as their mother shopped.
Within inches of the children, the man in the surveillance video pulled a gun and pointed it at the store employee, striking one of the children in the head with his elbow in the process. She did not end up needing medical attention.
Video showed the suspect demanding money, threatening the store employee, crawling over the counter, grabbing the employee and trying to reach for the money in the cash register.
According to a criminal complaint, Nickles told the cashier: ” Just give me the money — I won’t hurt you.”
But the cashier grabbed his own handgun and pointed it at Nickles, telling him to leave. Nickles then slid back over the counter — failing to have stolen any money — and walked over to an ATM where a woman and some small children were standing.
Fearing Nickles might rob the woman, the cashier fired a shot into the floor. Nickles then ran and fled in a two-door gray Ford car.
Police shared the video images with the public earlier this week in an attempt to locate the perpetrator.
On Wednesday, investigators arrested Nickles during a traffic stop in the Lake Elmo area.