For people who live nearby or work in the shopping center in the 3000 block of Mockingbird Lane, where a pregnant CVS employee was shot in early November, the news of the violent attempted robbery proved jarring.
“This kind of thing happens in east Dallas, where I live. It doesn’t happen here.” -Wendy Birdsall
University Park Police reported Orelia Hollins, 29, was shot in the waist by a masked robber in the store at 6:39 a.m. Nov. 2.
The robber reportedly fired two shots, hit Hollins, and fled after another employee struggled to open the register.
University Park Fire Department paramedics took Hollins to Presbyterian Hospital right after the shooting, where she was admitted to surgery immediately upon arrival and gave birth to a boy. Assistant police chief Jim Savage said authorities visited Hollins recently and she and the baby are improving as of Nov. 9, but are expected to remain hospitalized for a while. Savage said the timing of the robbery — early in the morning on a Saturday — is consistent with someone who would want to strike when there wouldn’t be many people in the store.
“We don’t get (a lot of ) robberies (in University Park),” Savage said.
Guy Bellaver, owner of Roly Poly Sandwiches in the same shopping center, announced shortly after the shooting that the shop would help raise money for Hollins.
Bellaver said staff members would donate their tips up to $1,000, he would match, and he hopes the restaurant’s corporate office would contribute as well.
“I came in to prepare (orders Saturday), saw the caution tape… went around, talked to other managers (nearby) and pieced things together,” he said. “It’s a small community here.”
Wendy Birdsall said she’s worked at the sandwich shop for the last eight years and knew Hollins.
“Highland Park, SMU, (University Park) is like a bubble. This kind of thing happens in east Dallas, where I live. It doesn’t happen here,” Birdsall said. “It hit home.”
Police reported CVS is also offering a $25,000 reward for information about the shooting, and investigators were following up on leads at press time.