A witness in the trial of the so-called “chrome revolver bandit” told a jury today that the defendant shot and cursed him after robbing a pet store in San Mateo in 2011. Daniel Hernandez testified that in San Mateo County Superior Court that he was an employee of the PetSmart at 3520 S. El Camino Real on Oct. 8, 2011 when defendant Ricky Renee Sanders, 35, entered his office and demanded money while pointing a chrome or “dirty silver” revolver.
After Hernandez went to a cash register and gave Sanders about $200, the defendant turned and shot him in the left leg and yelled “this will be the last time” and swore at him. Hernandez described how the bullet snapped his shin bone, his leg “folded” and his thigh collapsed on to his ankle while he nearly bled to death while the suspect fled on foot. He identified Sanders as the assailant who also attempted to rob the PetSmart on Aug. 7, 2011 with the same gun, but ran away after telling Hernandez “I’ll be back.” Sanders has been nicknamed the “chrome revolver bandit” for allegedly using the same long-barreled chrome-colored revolver in as many as 30 robberies or attempted robberies, according to prosecutors.
He is charged with 44 felony crimes in connection with 14 robberies or attempted robberies in San Mateo County, San Jose and San Francisco and the shooting of Hernandez, according to Deputy District Attorney Ivan Nightengale. Two Petsmart employees, Lili Fan and Lin Ni, also testified today about being present when Hernandez was shot. Fan said that Sanders, armed with a long-barreled revolver, grabbed her from behind and pushed her into a store office with Hernandez and Ni. She said he told Daniel, “Let’s do this again and give me the money.” Fan stayed in the office with Ni, heard the shot that wounded Hernandez and ran to her fallen coworker. “I saw Daniel laying on the ground bleeding, the left leg was bleeding,” Fan said.
San Mateo police officer Shannon Hagan testified that when he arrived he saw Hernandez in a pool of blood, put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding and gave him encouragement. “I wanted him to fight for his life,” Hagan said. “I thought his life was going to expire.” Sanders’ defense attorney John Elworth, in his cross-examination, attempted to point out inconsistencies in the physical and facial description of his client that Hernandez, Fan and Ni first gave to San Mateo police after the October incident. At one point, under questioning by Elworth, Ni said that none of the photos police gave him were of the man who robbed the store. The trial resumes on Monday in Redwood City and is expected to run until Feb. 7, Nightengale said.
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