A man was arrested Tuesday after firing a gun inside a 7-Eleven in San Diego’s Midway District and then forcing a cab driver – at gunpoint – to give him a getaway ride as police officers trailed, authorities said.
The cab driver, who wished to be identified only as Samuel, picked up 38-year-old Steven Stogsdill at the Old Town Transit Center. Stogsdill said he needed a ride to Point Loma and needed to stop and grab coffee along the way.
They arrived at the convenience store located at 3146 Sports Arena Blvd. just before 8 a.m. Stogsdill got out, put on a black mask and black gloves, and walked inside.
That's when he pulled out a gun, pointed it at a clerk and demanded money, the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said.
Police said the clerk was initially not able to get the money for Stogsdill. Frustrated, the suspect fired one round inside the store, toward the clerk's direction. A manager was ultimately able to open the cash register and Stogsdill stole some cash.
Stogsdill dashed out of the store, got back into Samuel's cab, pointed his gun at the driver and told him to drive.
"I didn't know what happened," Samuel said. "He said 'Drive fast! Drive fast! Fast! Fast!"
Samuel said the Stogsdill threatened to kill him if he slowed down or stopped. Fearing for his life, he did what he was told to do.
Officers spotted the cab on Rosecrans Street and a short pursuit began. The driver kept going, traveling onto city streets until reaching the intersection of N. Harbor Drive and Nimitz Boulevard. There, Samuel said a driver in front of him blocked the intersection with his car, stalling the pursuit.
Not knowing the cab driver was actually Stogsdill's victim and not his accomplice, officers took both men into custody on the side of the road.
Samuel was eventually released and Stogsdill was arrested for robbery and kidnapping, police confirmed.
Samuel told NBC 7 he hopes Stogsdill stays behind bars for a long time.
"They have to keep him in the jail for life. I don't want him killing any innocent person like me. I'm scared of him," Samuel said.
The SDPD said the gun Stogsdill fired inside the 7-Eleven was recovered; no one was hurt in the incident.
Stogsdill was booked into San Diego Central Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.