Double shooting turns into police standoff in Santa Maria

Police: Family dispute led to shooting

One Santa Maria shooting suspect...


Investigators with the Santa Maria Police Department said the motive for a shooting that left two people fighting for their lives Thursday afternoon appears to be a family dispute.

While detectives said the four individuals involved in the incident know each other, the exact relationship of everybody is yet to be determined.

The two victims were taken to the hospital in serious condition but are expected to survive.


Santa Maria police are investigating a double shooting that happened near North Bradley Road and Rose Place in the city of Santa Maria.

The incident was reported shortly before 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Two adult men were shot multiple times and taken to the hospital in serious condition according to Santa Maria police.

One of the victims was flown to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital while the second victim was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center.

"I was sitting in the house watching television..and my wife walks in and says did you hear the gunshots and she says I heard three gunshots and they weren't firecrackers," Bill Marquez of Santa Maria said. 

That's when Bill Marquez walked outside.

"And then my neighbor across the street who kind of takes care of the apartments said hey there's two guys who were shot in the back," Marquez said.

Witnesses identified the shooter as 34-year-old Robert D. Ruiz, according to Santa Maria police.

Police say they saw a suspicious vehicle leaving the scene of the shooting and made a high risk traffic stop outside a home on Thornburg Street.

They believe it was a father and son in the car. They arrested Ruiz but thought the second suspect had gone into a home and barricaded himself. That began a several hour standoff.

Police say they did not find him in the home. However, the man they believe is the father later turned himself in at the Santa Maria Police Department at about 11 p.m. Thursday.

Ruiz has been charged with attempted murder.  

"Police have been asking him to come out and he hasn't," Crystal Morales of Santa Maria said. 

"The whole neighborhood is in panic because they said it's related to another incident not far from here involving a shooting," Oscar Maldonado of Santa Maria said. 

A law enforcement helicopter was monitoring the situation by air.

"It's kind of sad, makes Santa Maria sound bad," Marcos Meraze of Santa Maria said. 

Marcos Meraze just wishes people would talk out their problems. 

"I think if we talked about things instead of going for our guns, kind of crazy," Meraze said.  

Investigators are looking into the relationship between the suspects and the victims. The motive for the shooting is unknown.

comments powered by Disqus

Top Local Stories