- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - An Iowa man who was shot by police after he allegedly robbed a downtown Fargo motel at gunpoint was charged Friday with two felony counts.

Police identified the suspect in Thursday afternoon’s robbery as Eric Lee Webb, 30, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who is hospitalized after he was shot by Fargo Police Officer Matthew Niemeyer. Webb is charged with robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Fargo Police Chief Dave Todd said at a news conference Friday that Webb demanded money and fired a shot into the front desk of the Howard Johnson motel. Nobody at the motel was injured. Webb fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash before he was spotted by officers a few blocks north.

Todd said the preliminary investigation shows that Webb shot first at officers, who were not hurt. Niemeyer, 33, a seven-year veteran of the force, fired two shots at Webb.

“This was a very dangerous, life-threatening situation for our officers,” Todd said. “I’m extremely grateful our officers are OK, were not harmed.”

Cass County State’s Attorney Birch Burdick said an initial hearing for Webb should be held early next week.

“If he’s unable to attend the hearing, we’ll bring the hearing to him,” Burdick said.

Webb’s attorney, Ross Brandborg, did not immediately return a message left by the Associated Press.

Fargo police will handle the motel robbery and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation will look into the officer-involved shooting.

“That is standard practice, to avoid a conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety, because a Fargo police officer was involved,” Todd said.

Todd said earlier that the officers involved would be placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete. The chief would not give any further details Friday.



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