Local News

Former employees charged in Spring Lake Super 8 robbery, shooting

Posted January 31, 2019 5:48 p.m. EST

— Two men who recently were fired from a Spring Lake motel went back this week and shot the owner, authorities said.

According to authorities, James Horne, 27, shot John Patel, the owner of Super 8 motel on South Main Street, during an armed robbery at about 4:15 a.m. Tuesday. Patel was shot in the hand and a bullet grazed his head.

Investigators also arrested and charged 32-year-old Michael Richard. Both men face a number of charges including assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

Horne and Richard both worked on the motel's maintenance crew and were fired within the last month.

"During the commission of the robbery, the owner was wounded by a shot fired by one of the individuals," said Spring Lake Police Chief Troy McDuffie. "They held the owner at gunpoint. They took an undisclosed amount of money from the location."

An employee at the motel said security video shows Patel fighting for his life with the two men for about 30 minutes before they left with the money.

Horne and Richard were captured Wednesday night at a mobile home park on Buckeye Drive.

McDuffie said Patel is lucky to be alive.

"The intent of these two individuals ... I don't think it really mattered to them whether or not they slightly injured the owner or whether it was fatal," he said.

Horne was being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $300,000 bond.

Richard is being held under a $50,000 bond.

Authorities said Patel is out of the hospital and is at home now recovering from his wounds.