Jewelry store owner is slain

A 51-year-old jewelry store owner was fatally shot Thursday in a robbery attempt at his shop in Queens, the police said.

Investigators said Steven Woo was shot once by a man who confronted him in his shop, W. & S. Jewelry, at 10:05 a.m. and then fled, The New York Times reported.

Mr. Woo was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital about an hour later from a single gunshot wound to his right thigh, said Tara Fleming, a hospital spokeswoman. She said the wound had apparently severed an artery, resulting in rapid loss of blood, the newspaper reported.

Several people outside the shop, at 91-15 Jamaica Avenue in the Woodhaven section, said they saw Mr. Woo bleeding badly inside after the shooting but were unable to reach him because the glass front door had locked automatically.

“Everyone was in a panic,” Jackie Gabriel, the owner of a women’s clothing store three doors away, told the newspaper. “They could see he was bleeding, but couldn’t get in to help.”

With rescuers on the way, workers at a nearby meat market brought a hand truck to the front of the jewelry shop and someone else in the crowd used it as a battering ram to break through the front door, Mr. Gabriel and other witnesses told the Times.

The police said late Thursday that no arrests had been made. It remained unknown whether any cash or merchandise was stolen.

Mr. Woo was described by others on the block as a Korean immigrant who had operated the jewelry store for more than 20 years. “He was a very hard worker,” said Mr. Gabriel, who said he saw Mr. Woo at opening and closing time every day, the Times reported.