Following a shooting in Santa Maria Thursday afternoon, two men are in serious condition and a father and son are behind bars. The shooting is not believed to be gang related.
Shortly after 3 p.m., a man shot two people multiple times in the 800 block of N. Bradley Road. Emergency responders found the victims, provided first aid and transported the victims to local medical centers.
Witnesses identified the shooter as Robert Ruiz, 34. Within minutes, officers located Ruiz in the 400 block of W. Bunny Avenue, where he was exiting a vehicle parked in the driveway of a home.
A patrol officer immediately confronted Ruiz and took him into custody. The lone officer then waited for additional police to arrive to confront a second suspect, who had also been seen in the vehicle.
Thinking the second suspect entered the home, officers waited to obtain a search warrant. When they went inside the house, officers discovered the second suspect had not gone into the home, but rather fled the area on foot.
Detectives then worked to track down the outstanding suspect, receiving aerial support from a CHP Helicopter. Around 11 p.m., Robert Ruiz Sr., 54, turned himself in at the Santa Maria police station. Officers arrested Ruiz Sr. and booked him in jail for attempted murder.
Thursday’s shooting was the fourth in Santa Maria over the last month. The first two shootings were deadly, and the third left a man in critical condition.
Until Aug. 24, Santa Maria had yet to have a murder in 2017. In 2015, the city had 13 murders, and in 2016, there were at least nine homicides in Santa Maria.