041721 krys ruiz

A memorial for 26-year-old Krys Ruiz is located near the intersection of North H Street and Walnut Avenue in Lompoc. Ruiz died in an officer-involved shooting following an altercation with Lompoc Police officers on March 28. 

Lompoc Police on Thursday released six dashcam videos and a 911 call related to the fatal officer-involved shooting of 26-year-old Krys Ruiz on March 28 near the intersection of East Walnut Avenue and North H Street.

Ruiz was armed with a knife when he was shot shortly after 8 p.m. as police responded to a 911 call reporting a person with a handgun who was walking in the 100 block alley of North H and G streets, according to Chief Joseph Mariani.

Ruiz was located in an empty lot near the corner of the alley and East Walnut Avenue and was shot by Lompoc Police Cpl. Andrew White and Officer Mauricio Calderon as he reportedly charged at them with a knife.

The recordings were released in accordance with Government Code 6254(f)(4), which allows Lompoc Police to withhold them after 45 days only under certain conditions, according to Capt. Kevin Martin. The release included six dashcam videos from the four police officers who responded to the incident and were not redacted, although some were enhanced to improve clarity.

The incident begins with the roughly 2-minute 911 call in which a person reports Ruiz carrying a gun, although the caller does not describe the firearm to dispatch.

The videos range from 20 seconds to nearly 1 minute and 40 seconds, and opens with the approach of the police cruiser. 

The cruiser, whose officer isn't identified, drives past a community garden and behind Ruiz, who is walking northbound in the alley and looks back at the cruiser as it shines a light onto him.

Ruiz is on the lefthand side of the road when he notices the light and crosses over to the righthand side before crossing back over to the left. The cruiser continues to crawl closer to Ruiz as he disappears into the bushes.

Moments later, three additional Lompoc Police cruisers arrive near the intersection of East Walnut and the alley.

Calderon’s cruiser approaches from the east of the intersection and parks several feet away before he exits the vehicle and approaches with his gun drawn.

A third, unidentified officer approaches from the west side and parks facing the intersection. A fourth officer, identified as White, arrives from behind Calderon seconds later and parks in between the two cruisers before he exits the vehicle with his gun drawn.

It's dark and the alley contains virtually no illumination except for some motion lights near private residences. 

From different angles, Ruiz is seen standing in the bushes for several seconds before he briefly throws his hands up and charges at the officers, who take several steps back before shooting him several times.

Mariani did not provide information on the caller when asked and declined to comment further until a final report is released by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s Offices, which are investigating the incident.

Calderon and White were placed on paid administrative leave after the incident in March but have since been cleared to return to duty, according to Mariani.

Bill Schmidt, the attorney who represents the Ruiz family, has called on the California Attorney General's Office to investigate the shooting. He did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.