Armed robbery suspect shot and killed by Merced police officers, police chief says

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- An armed robbery suspect was shot and killed by Merced police officers on Monday night, authorities say.

Merced Police Chief Thomas Cavallero said 27-year-old Rodolpho Antonio Ruiz first went to a Circle K at 21st and G Streets. He held up the store clerk and took off with some cash.

The store clerk told police she believed he fired at her head but missed.

Investigators say Ruiz then went to a nearby liquor store and tried to rob it. He briefly took a hostage, but officials say the shopkeeper took out their own gun, firing it at him.

Ruiz ran off with nothing from the store.

Witnesses flagged down officers in the area, telling them about the liquor store robbery.

Chief Cavallero said the two officers found Ruiz, chased and tried to get him to drop his gun.

Cavallero said Ruiz refused to lower his weapon, and that's when the officers shot him.

Ruiz died at the scene.

The police chief said detectives had recovered Ruiz's weapon and an investigation is underway. Authorities will review surveillance footage from both stores and the police body cameras.

Chief Cavallero said the two officers who fired their guns have not previously been involved in a shooting.

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