UPDATE: BPD releases body camera video of fatal officer-involved shooting

Officer-Involved Shooting

UPDATE (7/8): The Bakersfield Police Department has posted body-camera video of a fatal officer-involved shooting that took place last month. 

The footage is of a shooting on June 13 in the area of East Brundage Lane and Cottonwood Road that led to the death of 25-year-old Jose Antonio Ruiz III in a hospital days later. BPD said the incident is still under review and that the involved officers remain on modified duty while the investigation continues. 

“The public has a legitimate interest in obtaining timely and accurate information about police shootings, and the Bakersfield Police Department is committed to making that information available,” said Chief Greg Terry. “We will release the body worn camera footage of officers in critical incidents as soon as it is possible to do so without compromising an investigation. This is our commitment to accountability and professionalism.”

Court records show Ruiz had pending criminal charges from an arrest earlier this year, and multiple prior convictions.

Ruiz was charged in February with running a chop shop, five counts of possession of a stolen vehicle and grand theft of property and agricultural equipment, according to court records.

In 2019, Ruiz pleaded no contest to possession of a stolen vehicle, records show. The year before, he pleaded no contest to possession of a stolen vehicle and providing false identification to a peace officer.

Ruiz pleaded no contest to grand theft of property in 2017, and to second-degree burglary and resisting arrest in 2016, records show.

The full BPD video can be seen below:

UPDATE (6/25): The Kern County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man who died after being seriously wounded in the officer-involved shooting as 25-year-old Jose Antonio Ruiz III.

UPDATE (6/17): Police said the suspect died Wednesday. His name will be released by the coroner’s office.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif (KGET) — A suspect remains in critical condition Monday after a blistering afternoon shootout with Bakersfield police in the Cottonwood area.

The gunfight happened Sunday afternoon, when police pursued a man wanted for a “vehicle code violations” on the 300 block of Clifton, according to BPD. The suspect led officers on a pursuit down Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard before crashing at East Brundage, just before MLK transitions to Cottonwood Road.

BPD said the suspect got out of the car and started shooting, and police fired back. At the scene Sunday, Lieutenant Rick Dossey said another exchange of gunfire happened beneath the Highway 58 overpass before the alleged gunman ran to the parking lot of the Fiesta Food Market, at the corner of Cottonwood and Padre street.

According to BPD, officers shot the suspect when he tried to carjack someone at gunpoint. Cellphone video obtained by 17 News shows the man seated in front of a line of officers, with a hand close to his head. In the video, the man is shot when lifting and pointing his other arm. It’s not immediately clear which hand held the gun.

BPD said officers attempted to convince the man to drop the gun and surrender, but that he refused for several minutes and he made “movements” that he was attempting suicide before the shooting. No one else was hurt.

6 total officers fired during the incident and BPD said all had body-worn cameras. Public Information Officer Kelsey Brackett said the department would be forthcoming with video evidence in the “near future.” The department has had a practice of releasing video compilations of body-camera video and other images gathered during the investigation. All 6 officers are on administrative leave while the incident is reviewed.

For now, the suspect remains unidentified, but was described as a 25-year-old Hispanic man. Anyone with more information on the incident can contact BPD at (661) 327-7111.

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