Omar Ruiz, suspect in Virto slaying, arrested in Camarillo

November 13, 2013
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly 

Santa Paula Times 

The suspect in a murder that proved to the first in a string of homicides was arrested November 7 in Camarillo following a brief standoff with Ventura County Deputies and Santa Paula Police.

Omar Hernandez Ruiz, 26, had been wanted since the May 27 slaying of 21-year-old Ulises Virto, who was gunned down in the front yard of a friend’s home located in the 400 block of Dartmouth Road.

The slaying was believed to be gang-related.

Found inside the home where Ruiz was briefly barricaded was a 9-month-old baby that law enforcement said was alone with the wanted suspect.

Santa Paula Police Lt. Ishmael Cordero said Ruiz, of Santa Paula, was “Arrested for a parole violation,” and firing a weapon inside an occupied dwelling. 

He is being held without bail.

Cordero said, “We had an ongoing investigation into Ruiz’s whereabouts and during that time we developed information he might be at the location in Camarillo.”

The SPPD notified the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, whose jurisdiction includes Camarillo, that Ruiz was believed to be in a residence located in the 5300 block of Holly Ridge Drive, a neat neighborhood of single-family homes near Mission Oaks Boulevard. 

Cordero said law enforcement personnel were just establishing a perimeter around the house at about 2 p.m. when, “Ruiz decided to fire a round at the deputies....  that confirmed our suspect was in there and after a short while he came out and gave up.”

According to the VCSD, the bullet was fired from within the garage and traveled through an exterior wall, narrowly missing four deputies. 

No deputies or officers were injured.

The 9-month-old child found in the home with Ruiz was later claimed by its mother.

Deputies obtained a search warrant and searched the house and found an assault rifle, two loaded high capacity magazines and body armor. 

Ruiz was transported to Santa Paula Police Department where he was interviewed and later booked into the Ventura County Jail on the parole warrant and other arrest related charges. 

Cordero said at this time, Ruiz has not been charged with the Santa Paula homicide but the homicide investigation will be forwarded to the Ventura County District Attorney’s office for review.

It is expected Ruiz will be charged next week with four counts of attempted murder of a peace officer in connection with the rifle shot that narrowly missed the deputies.

Ruiz was one of four fugitives wanted for three homicides that were pictured on a reward poster issued by Santa Paula Police. 

According to Santa Paula Police Chief Steve McLean, “The reason Omar Ruiz was caught is the same reason the others were caught.... these detectives, Santa Paula Police and Ventura County Sheriff’s investigators, were relentless in their pursuit of Omar. They go on the run, get careless and get caught.”

In mid-September an Oxnard gang member Andres Rene Rodriguez, 28, was arrested after being detained by Mexican authorities.

Rodriguez is suspected of shooting Angela Bryant, 33, of Santa Paula, and killing her on July 17. 

His alleged accomplice-pictured on the same reward poster-was also captured but later exonerated of being involved in Bryant’s murder.

Said McLean, “Omar was caught because of dogmatic, good old-fashioned detective work by Santa Paula detectives and the Ventura County Sheriff’s crime suppression unit.”

Also Thursday, Franky Magana, 27, of Santa Paula appeared in court. 

Magana was arrested on suspicion of the gang-related shooting of Virto shortly after it occurred.

When responding officers found Virto with multiple gunshot wounds at about 8:55 p.m. residents told police a vehicle had fled the area after the shots were fired.

Police located the car and gave chase and during the pursuit guns were thrown from the vehicle.

When the car stopped Magana jumped out and ran but was apprehended by SPPD Police, who recovered three firearms in the vehicle. Investigators suspect there might be a third person involved in the crime.

Magana was arrested on suspicion of carrying a loaded firearm, street terrorism and resisting a police officer.

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