Santa Barbara County – The adage “like father, like son” may have a deadly ring of truth to it if the allegations surrounding the events that began with the late afternoon September 21st report of a shooting in Santa Maria are proved true.
It was at 4:00 p.m. on the 21st when Santa Maria Dispatch received a 911 Emergency call reporting gunshots in northwest Santa Maria residential area. According to Santa Maria Police Department spokesman Lt. Russ Mengel, responding officers found a pair of men on North Bradley Road suffering “multiple gunshot wounds” prompting one of them to be taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and the other victim to be transported to Marian Regional Medical Center.
Police quickly identified both suspects as Robert Ruiz Sr., 54, and his son, Robert Ruiz, 34. The younger Ruiz was in custody by 5:30 p.m., while a warrant for the search of the Ruiz residence was issued just hours later.
As cops surrounded the Ruiz home, a security perimeter was established to control “a crowd of people, both children and adults” while nearby neighbors were advised to “shelter in place” until the situation could be resolved. But by the time officers entered the home, they discovered that “the suspect was gone from the site.”
Hours later that same evening, Ruiz Sr. appeared at Santa Maria Police Headquarters and turned himself in.
Both father and son were transported to Santa Barbara County Jail for booking, with specific charges pending further investigation. The incident, Mengel noted, is the third shooting incident in Santa Maria this month.