Monterey County

Salinas police: WingStop suspect was same man who brake-checked CHP officer

WingStop suspect

SALINAS, Calif. - Salinas police say they believe the man officers shot and killed outside the Wingstop restaurant last week was the same man who intentionally made a California Highway Patrol officer crash her motorcycle the week prior.

Officers were called to the Creekbridge Shopping Center on March 22 for reports of a suspicious man armed with a handgun. The suspect apparently brandished the gun at an employee and a patron inside the restaurant and insinuated he was going to rob them.

When officers arrived, they say Angel Ruiz lifted his sweatshirt, where he was carrying the handgun.  Salinas police say he took the gun from his waistband and pointed it at officers. Ruiz had also repeatedly ignored officers' orders to put his hands up. Fearing that Ruiz would shoot, three officers fired shots at him. No officers were injured, but Ruiz was killed.

Investigators later determined the gun was fake.

The three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave  while the investigation continues.

On Tuesday, police said Ruiz was identified as the man who brake-checked a CHP officer on Highway 101 in Prunedale four days prior. At the time, CHP officials said the officer attempted to pull over the driver of an Acura for speeding. As she pulled behind the Acura, the driver slammed on his brakes and came to a complete stop, causing the officer to smash her motorcycle into the vehicle and fall to the ground.

Police say Ruiz is also suspected in a number of recent robberies, including a Burger King and Jack-in-the-Box restaurant.

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