Lauderhill donut store clerk shot in robbery; baby found in getaway car
By Sallie James | Sun-Sentinel.com 3:37 PM EDT, April 25, 2008
LAUDERHILL - A Lauderhill store clerk is lucky to be alive after being shot in the cheek by a gunman who robbed him at a Dunkin Donuts store early this morning, then escaped in a getaway car with a baby in the backseat.
Police stopped the vehicle a short time later, arrested the gunman and discovered the 8-month-old girl, who was unharmed.
Steven Woods, 23, of Sunrise, was charged with armed robbery with a firearm and attempted felony murder with a firearm, said police Lt. Rick Rocco.
A 19-year-old woman who was driving the car, Marie Patterson, of Coral Springs, is facing the same charges as an accomplice, Rocco said.
Patterson is the mother of the baby girl and has been Woods' girlfriend for three weeks, Rocco said.
The clerk was identified as Sukhbir Singh, 40, of Sunrise. He was in stable condition at Broward General Medical Center, Rocco said.
Here's what police said happened:
Singh was shot as he stood behind the counter near the cash register. It wasn't immediately known why Woods shot him, Rocco said.
A witness, who had stopped by the 24-hour donut shop to get some coffee, witnessed the robbery, called 911 at 1:16 a.m. and then followed the suspect's car when it left the donut shop at 7340 W. Commercial Boulevard.
The vehicle headed east on Commercial Boulevard, as police and Broward sheriff's deputies raced to the store.
With police cars also on his tail, Woods pulled into the parking lot of a Comfort Inn hotel at 3601 W. Commercial Boulevard, Rocco said.
Patterson was driving and the suspect was riding in the front passenger seat, police said. The baby was in the back seat.
Woods got out of the car, dropping a mask and cash, Rocco said.
A semi-automatic handgun also was recovered, he said.
Officers were stunned to find the baby strapped into a carseat in the back seat of the vehicle, Rocco said. The child has been turned over to the state Department of Children and Families.
Woods is not the baby's father, Rocco said.
"We were thankful the witness paid attention and called in right away," Rocco said.
He said the injured clerk was amazingly lucky.
"With a face shot, you just never know," Rocco said.
What exactly happened inside the donut shop remained murky today.
"We are hoping the surveillance tape [from inside the store] might provide us with some answers," Rocco said.
The parking lot remained cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape until about 9 a.m., as crime scene investigators took photographs and other evidence samples from inside the store.
Store employees said the store might open for business later in the day, but no one from the store would comment on the shooting.