MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 26-year-old man was arrested after police say he robbed an America’s Best Value Inn & Suites Hotel in Northfield, Minn. by holding the clerk at gunpoint.
Northfield Police Officers were dispatched to the hotel, located on 1420 Riverview Drive, on a report of a robbery around 2:47 a.m. on Monday.
The Rice County Sheriff’s deputies, Rice County ERU and the Minnesota State Patrol SWAT also responded to the scene.
Police say the suspect had shot at the officers and fled the scene.
In an interview with the hotel clerk, he told police he was standing outside at the west entrance around 12:30 a.m. when a dark two-door Pontiac Grand Prix or Grand Am was parked with its lights off, but dome light on. He said he could see two people inside the vehicle.
A woman, identified as Julie Ann Campana, 23, walked into the hotel and inquired about a room. She then left and said she was going to check out a few other hotels and go to an ATM.
The woman got into the dark Pontiac, which drove away. About 15 minutes later, it reappeared in the parking lot. It left and returned about three more times.
The clerk said he started to set up breakfast when he noticed a man enter the hotel, wearing a mask. The man put a gun to his head and demanded to be taken to the cash drawer. The clerk said he gave the man everything that was in the drawer, which was bout $114.
He said the man was pointing the gun at his face and told him this was not a joke. After taking the money, the man asked for the phones. He took the cordless desk phones and then asked for the clerk’s money. The clerk said he didn’t have any money so the man told him to sit on the floor and not call police for one hour. The man said if he called police before then, he would come back for him.
When police were notified they located Campana in the suspect vehicle. They placed her under arrest and noticed the front passenger side door was open. The officers suspected the man fled during the traffic stop.
They then heard two gunshots fired in the immediate area. Seconds later, they heard a third gunshot southeast of their location.
Police located a gun several feet from the river bank, where they also discovered a shoe.
Campana told officers the male suspect was Eric Wade Forcier. She denied any involvement in the robbery.
Police eventually found Forcier under blankets in a vehicle at Perkins Transportation in Northfield. He was arrested and transported to the Northfield Safety Center.
Campana was charged with first degree aiding and abetting an aggravated robbery. Forcier was charged with first-degree aggravated robbery, use of a deadly weapon, intentional discharge of a firearm and reckless discharge of a firearm.