[UPDATE 10:28 a.m.] Benbow Inn Robbed at Gunpoint
An unknown colored pickup reportedly left in an unknown direction with its lights off.
UPDATE 9:18 p.m.: The suspect, according to law enforcement on the scanner, was dressed entirely in black and was wearing a mask.
UPDATE 10 p.m.: Both the Inn and the KOA campground across the freeway are on lockdown, according to Fauna Frutchey, the auditor for the Inn. [UPDATE: John Porter the owner says that “NO ONE was locked down as a result of management or police decision.” Frutchey, who is currently locked in a cabin on the premises, told us by phone that she had gone out late for her break. “I was supposed to have been on my lunch break earlier and have been back and been the auditor for the late shift,” she said. Frutchey was reached by phone while she was outside and told to stay. Her brother came and found her and hurried her to his cabin there. “Everything is on lockdown,” she said. She was told by her employer in a short call, that there was a shooter. “Stay tight and do not come out [of the cabin.]”
“An exchange student from Jamaica was on the front desk,” Frutchey explained. [Note: John Porter the owner says the clerk “was not a ‘exchange student from Jamaica’.]
She said that call between her and her employer occurred about 9:09 p.m. She was still in the cabin as of 9:55 p.m.
UPDATE 10:16 p.m.: The officers have all left the premises, says Frutchey. Everything is closed for the night and no one was hurt. “Everything is fine,” she said. “It was just a scary situation.”
UPDATE 10:13 a.m.: John Porter of the Benbow Inn sent us an email this morning. He stated there were incorrect parts in the information we received last night.
- Neither the Inn nor RV Park were on “Lockdown”
- One shot was fired
- The employee who was involved (whom we want to protect and should not have described that person) was not a “exchange student from Jamaica”
- If the employee you talked to was “locked in a cabin on the premise” it was of her own decision. NO ONE was locked down as a result of management or police decision, there was not need to have a lock down.
UPDATE 10:28 a.m.: Last night, the robbery at the Inn occurred when a masked man carrying a handgun approached the clerk, explained Selena Zorrilla-Mendoza a spokesperson for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. “The suspect demanded cash or money from the clerk. Initially the clerk was hesitant and the suspect shot towards the floor. (Zorrilla-Mendoza says she can’t confirm the number of shots at this time.) The suspect fled with money.
The suspect is described as a white male with light brown skin, said Zorrilla-Mendoza. The man is reportedly six feet tall and thin. He was reportedly wearing a black mask, a black jacket, blue jeans, brown boots and black gloves. He carried a handgun.
We cannot confirm if there are any vehicles involved at this time.