Santa Maria - North County

Neighbors speak about fears during Santa Maria police standoff

New details emerge about double...

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria police said new information about Thursday's double shooting along North Bradley shows the shooting may be have been motivated by some type of family dispute.

The shooting led to a police standoff, and now, neighbors and residents are sounding off about the incident.

Carolina Hernandez didn't think twice. She said the minute she saw dozens of Santa Maria police officers with their guns drawn right in front of her window her first instinct was to put her kids somewhere safe inside of her home. 

"I was scared it could hit one of the kids so I put them all the way in the back room,” said Hernandez. 

She said she was left in the dark, not knowing what was happening, as police swarmed her neighborhood on West Bunny Avenue.

"They took out guns, they took out dogs, they brought more people,” she said. 

Police went home-by-home searching the area for Roberto Ruiz Sr. He was one of the suspects named by police as being involved in Thursday's double shooting in the 800 block of North Bradley Avenue.

"Come out the front door with your hands up," yelled police as they tried to get Ruiz Sr. to come out. 

Officers thought Ruiz Sr. had hidden inside of one of the homes after fleeing the scene from police. However, he was never there and eventually turned himself in at police headquarters hours later. 

Santa Maria Police had already arrested his son, the second suspect Roberto Ruiz Jr.

"Little kids can’t see that because they get scared,” said Hernandez.

Another neighbor who did not want her face shown said she’s lived on Bunny Avenue for more than 25 years.

"We were looking to see what happened, we would step out but they would tell us to go back inside,” said the woman. Like many people, she had to shelter in place for hours.

People, like Hernandez’s in-laws, coming home from work were turned away by police.

"They were in the corner at the stop sign wanted to come in but the cops told them to go back,” said Hernandez. 

Investigators said both victims in the shooting are expected to be okay.


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