UC Santa Cruz student shot in head at bus stop

February 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A UC Santa Cruz student is recovering after being shot in the head during a robbery that happened at a poorly lit, dark bus stop. The 21-year-old was sitting alone at the isolated bus stop when the man snuck up behind her.

Santa Cruz police released a sketch of the man they are looking for. Late Tuesday night, detectives re-interviewed the victim and she said she is sure the sketch looks like the man who attacked her.

It happened at 7:30 p.m. Monday. The UC Santa Cruz student waited for the No. 20 bus to campus, but before it arrived, she heard footsteps and then a man's voice telling her to empty her pockets. He had a gun.

"She complied with that until the suspect came up and initially she thought she was struck with the butt of the rifle. It turns out, that was her actually getting shot," said Santa Cruz Police Dep. Chief Steve Clark.

The 21-year-old ran while the suspect got in his car and drove away, but it wasn't until the victim got to the hospital that doctors found the small caliber bullet in her skull. It was successfully removed. Meantime, police continue to search for a suspect who is still out there.

"It's incredibly dangerous behavior and very concerning. It tells you that its likely not their first foyer into this kind of activity and so I'm concerned this person's ability to strike again," said Clark.

Late Tuesday, UC Santa Cruz officials emailed a crime alert to all students and staffers warning them of the attack. But for those sitting at the same very bus stop, it means a whole lot more.

"I'm very shaken up because I'm down here. I work down here at the Seymour Center, so I'm down here twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays so that's sort of alarming that would happen," said UCSC student Cameron Cooper.

"Definitely stay clear of the night time bus routes," said UCSC Student Melina Meseroll.

The suspect is white or light skinned, about 5'7" with a medium build, light beard, and a gruff voice. Police also say they're looking for the man who was driving a white Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Officers will be back out searching the area again on Wednesday.

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