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Woman shot in head during robbery

Modified: Wednesday, Feb 13th, 2013


Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office Deputies released this sketch of the suspect Wednesday.


SANTA CRUZ A UC Santa Cruz student who thought she had been hit in the back of the head with a rifle during an armed robbery Monday night had actually been shot, the Santa Cruz Police Department announced Tuesday.

A neurosurgeon removed the bullet from the head of the victim, a 21-year-old woman. She is expected to make a full recovery.

Santa Cruz Police officers responded to a report of a robbery that occurred at a bus stop on the 300 block of Natural Bridges Drive approximately 7:30 p.m.

The victim said she was waiting for a bus when the suspect appeared from a wooded area behind the bus stop.

The suspect pointed a rifle at the victim and ordered her to empty her pockets and hand over the contents.

The victim reported being struck by the suspect in the back of the head with the rifle. After being hit, she ran up Natural Bridges Drive where she flagged down a passing motorist, who called 911. As the victim ran she turned back to see the suspect taking her backpack.

The victim said she saw a white Chrysler PT Cruiser circle the area just prior to the attack, and officers initiated a countywide search for the vehicle, which included police dogs and thermal imaging equipment.

The victim was taken to Dominican Hospital, where doctors found that the bullet had lodged in her skull but had not penetrated her brain.

Detectives at the scene conducted an intensive search for evidence that lasted through Tuesday morning. They are also interviewing the victim to create a suspect sketch.

The suspect was described as a white or light skinned male, approximately 5 feet, 7 inches tall with a medium build. He was wearing jeans, a grey hoodie sweatshirt and a red bandana in a triangle covering his face. He was also described as having a gruff voice and several days beard growth.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call 911, or call the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigations Unit at 420-5820. Anonymous tips can be left on the tip line or via the mobile iPhone and Droid app.



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