Monday, October 23 , 2017, 5:11 am | Fair 54º

 
 
 
 

Local News

2 Suspects in Custody After Double Shooting in Northern Santa Maria

2 men transported to hospitals with multiple gunshot wounds

Santa Maria police gather outside a residence where a shooting suspect was suspected to be barricaded in northwest Santa Maria on Thursday afternoon. Click to view larger
Santa Maria police gather outside a residence where a shooting suspect was suspected to be barricaded in northwest Santa Maria on Thursday afternoon. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The search for a suspect in a double shooting, possibly barricaded in a West Bunny Avenue home Thursday afternoon, prompted a large police presence in a northwest Santa Maria neighborhood.

More than four hours later, police determined the suspect was not at the site and said late Thursday night Robert Ruiz Sr., 54, turned himself in at the police station.

The incident began around 4 p.m. Thursday when two men were shot on the 800 block of North Bradley Road and suffered serious injuries, according to the Santa Maria Police Department

Both  men had multiple gunshot wounds, and one victim was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center and the other was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Lt. Russ Mengel said.

The names and ages were not released, but police said both men are adults.

As of 5:30 p.m., police said one suspect, later identified as the man believed to be the shooter, Robert D. Ruiz, 34, was in custody and another suspect was believed to be barricaded in a house or vehicle on the 400 block of West Bunny Avenue. 

Police confirmed that the suspects, Ruiz, Sr. and Ruiz, are father and son.

"We're working through the barricade process so we're going to be here for a little while," Mengel said. "We're seeking a search warrant for the residence where we believe him to be."

Authorities set up an incident command post at Atkinson Park and SWAT responded to the scene. 

Police also set up a perimeter around the scene and residents closest the house where the suspect was believed to be hiding were told to shelter in place as a precaution.

Police officers respond to a reported double shooting in northern Santa Maria Thursday afternoon. Click to view larger
Police officers respond to a reported double shooting in northern Santa Maria Thursday afternoon.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A crowd of people, both children and adults, gathered at the intersection of Bunny and North Thornburg Street to watch the activity before officers expanded the perimeter and pushed spectators back a block.

By 8:15 p.m. and with a search warrant in hand, police determined the suspect was gone from the site, Mengel said.

Ruiz, Sr. later turned himself in.

The incident may be related to a family dispute rather than being connected to a criminal street gang, Mengel said, adding detectives were still investigating the motive.

Counting Thursday's violence, Santa Maria has seen three shootings since Sept. 1, one of which was fatal.

On Sept. 3, a 19-year-old man was fatally wounded in a shooting on the 2000 block of Lazo Way. Officers found the victim, identified as Edward Jonathan Ramirez of Santa Maria, who had been shot while near the roadway, making him the city's second homicide of 2017.

On Sept. 11, a man was critically injured in a gang-related shooting in the 900 block of West El Camino Street , police said. Officers found an adult male victim who had suffered a single gunshot wound to his chest and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

 Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

The Santa Maria police SWAT vehicle drives in reverse to pick up a colleague on West Bunny Avenue during an incident involving a shooting suspect Thursday afternoon. Click to view larger
The Santa Maria police SWAT vehicle drives in reverse to pick up a colleague on West Bunny Avenue during an incident involving a shooting suspect Thursday afternoon.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
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