MERCED, Calif. (KGPE) – Merced Police officials said a suspected armed robber is dead after an officer-involved shooting late Monday night.
Police identified the man as 27-year-old Rodolpho Antonio Ruiz. Investigators said Ruiz attempted to rob two stores on G street and held a person hostage before he was shot.
“This is an unfortunate incident,” said Lt. Emily Foster. “We never want to see things go this way and our hearts go out to all of the families and people involved in this incident.”
Foster said around 10:40 pm, alarms went off at the Circle K Store on G street. Police then got a 911 call reporting a robbery and shooting at the same store.
Officers rushed to the scene and were stopped by another person reporting more shots fired and an armed robbery down the block at Bernie’s Liquors Store.
Police said Ruiz held a customer of the liquor store hostage and tried to steal their car before one of the liquor store workers shot at him.
Investigators said Ruiz ran off and jumped over fences in a residential area behind Circle K. Police spotted him and chased him down.
“The shoot of the adult male suspect occurred a few seconds later after he failed to comply with a direction to drop off the handgun which he was holding,” said Foster.
Officers tried to revive Ruiz but he died on the scene.
Foster said Ruiz was on probation and has a lengthy criminal history including DUI’s, weapons Charges, and a 2019 residential burglary.
This is the first officer-involved shooting in Merced for this year. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.