Anyone with information on this case or who may recognize the suspect in the sketch is urged to call 911 immediately.
A U.C. Santa Cruz student was shot during an armed robbery Monday night near Natural Bridges State Park.
Police responded to the scene at about 7:30 p.m. on a report of a robbery. The 21-year-old victim reported that she was sitting at a bus stop when the suspect approached, aimed a rifle at her, and demanded she empty her pockets and hand over the contents.
The victim told police the suspect struck her in the back of the head with the rifle, but she managed to get away and flagged down a passing motorist, who called 911. While running away, she looked back to see the suspect taking her backpack, police say.
The victim noticed a white PT Cruiser circle the area just prior to the attack, officials say. Police swarmed the area with search dogs, but the suspect managed to escape.
While the victim was being treated for her injuries at Dominican Hospital, a doctor notified authorities that she had also sustained a gunshot wound to the head. The bullet was found lodged in her skull.
Detectives returned to the scene this morning to conduct a follow-up search of the area near Natural Bridges and say if the victim is able to provide a physical description, a sketch may be released. She is currently in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.
The victim did provide police with a brief description of her shooter. He was reportedly a white or light-skinned man and about 5’7” with a thin build. He was wearing jeans and a gray hoodie and had a red bandana covering his face. The victim said the suspect had a gruff voice and several days of beard growth.
Santa Cruz police are also working with UCSC police to notify students of the incident and offer safety tips.
Anyone with information on this case is urged to call 911 or Santa Cruz police investigations at (831) 420-5820. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call (831) 420-5995.