Fairfax County police said yesterday that the third and latest robbery at a Franconia hotel was planned and executed by three men, and said one of them was a hotel desk clerk shot during the crime.

Police spokeswoman Connie Curran said the robbery was part of a larger scheme by three men in which the injured clerk would later sue the owner of the hotel for failing to provide adequate security.

Police now think two previous robberies at the hotel in early January are not related to the third one, which took place Jan. 23.

Less than $500 was taken in the latest robbery, Curran said, and all of it has been recovered.

Three men have been arrested.

Steven L. Sorrell, 20, of 8510 Bauer Dr., Springfield, was the clerk on duty during the early morning robbery at the Comfort Inn at 5617 Van Dorn St., just off the Capital Beltway. He is charged with embezzlement and as an accessory to malicious discharge of a firearm and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Sorrell told police a man brandishing a nickel-plated revolver demanded money and then shot him after he had handed over the cash, police said.

Police also arrested Thomas A. Higgins, 28, of 10030 Portsmouth Rd., Manassas, who they said is an acquaintance of Sorrell's.

Higgins, charged with grand larceny, conspiracy, malicious wounding, discharge of a firearm in an occupied building, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, remained jailed yesterday in Fairfax in lieu of $116,000 bond.

Police said a man checked into the hotel under an assumed name and then "robbed" and shot Sorrell about 2 a.m. Police said Sorrell was shot in the right shoulder but was not seriously injured.

The third person charged, also an acquaintance of Sorrell, according to police, is Samuel F. Georges, 21, of 8603 Old Keene Mill Rd., Springfield.

Police said Georges was not at the hotel the night of the incident, but allegedly helped plan it and supplied the gun and ammunition.

Curran said Higgins was arrested last Friday while driving a stolen automobile and that police found a gun supposedly used in the third robbery in his possession.

The earlier two robberies remain unsolved, Curran said.