03/11/2014

SF police shooting may have been blue-on-blue

A critical piece of evidence, the bullet that pierced Officer Adam Shaw's shoulder Saturday, has not been recovered

By Vivian Ho
San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco police were investigating Monday whether an officer wounded in the city's Mission District was shot by a suspect or by his partner, who had fired at the suspect, officials said.

A critical piece of evidence, the bullet that pierced Officer Adam Shaw's shoulder Saturday near the intersection of 26th and Florida streets, has not been recovered, police said.

"At this point in the investigation, we can't say conclusively who shot Officer Shaw," Officer Gordon Shyy, a police spokesman, said in a statement.

Shaw, 28, and his partner, who has not been identified, were responding to reports of a suspicious vehicle at about 2:45 p.m. when the driver allegedly tried to back into the officers, officials said. The officers were in a marked car.

A witness reported hearing shots fired from the suspect's car, while the second officer said he fired several rounds at the suspect.

The suspect was identified as Jeffrey Ruano, 50, of San Francisco. He was arrested in San Jose after a manhunt that closed down streets in Daly City and a high-speed car chase that spanned four counties.

Shyy said Ruano had a .38-caliber cartridge in a pants pocket at the time of his arrest, but no gun. A cartridge is an unfired round. San Francisco police use .40-caliber cartridges for their department-issued firearms.

Shaw, a six-year department veteran, is recovering and "in good spirits," Shyy said.

Ruano was booked into jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon -- a reference to his car -- as well as illegal possession of ammunition as a convicted felon, and evading officers.

Ruano had active warrants out for his arrest in San Mateo and Mendocino counties. According to San Mateo County prosecutors, Ruano has a history of trying to get away from officers.

He was convicted there in 1998 on felony charges of car theft, drug dealing and evading police. He was sentenced to 11 years and four months in prison for the chase and had to serve half of that.

In 2005, he was convicted of fleeing from an officer and being under the influence of drugs, both misdemeanors.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said a $5,000 bench warrant was issued recently after Ruano failed to appear in court to face a misdemeanor charge of possessing a switchblade, the result of an arrest on New Year's Day.

That arrest also prompted the warrant in Mendocino County, said Mike Geniella, a spokesman for the district attorney's office there. It constituted an alleged probation violation, and Ruano failed to appear at a subsequent hearing.

Ruano was on probation after pleading guilty in 2011 to dealing cocaine and methamphetamine, Geniella said. As part of the plea deal, he enrolled in San Francisco's chapter of the Delancey Street Foundation, an organization that helps drug addicts and ex-convicts.

Ruano had a number of other drug-related convictions out of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. After his brush with the law in Mendocino County, he wrote a long letter to the district attorney asking for a chance to "turn his life around," Geniella said.

"The bottom line here was that we decided to give him one last chance," Geniella said. "The bottom line now is that he's a man who has had his last chance."

Copyright 2014 the San Francisco Chronicle


McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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