Cal AG asked to investigate death of a Trans man in officer involved shooting

Krys Brandon Ruiz
Krys Brandon Ruiz / Obituary

Lompoc, California resident Krys Brandon Ruiz, 26, died suddenly on the evening of March 28, 2021. The cause of death his death has not been released by the sheriff corners office.

According to Capt. Kevin Martin, Ruiz died from a fatal gunshot wound following an altercation with Lompoc Police officers minutes after they received a report of a person with a gun walking northbound on H Street with a handgun shortly after 8 p.m.

The two Lompoc Police officers involved in the shooting were Cpl. Andrew White, a 14-year veteran, and Officer Mauricio Calderon, a 12-year veteran of the department, according to Martin.

There is no record of a handgun being found at the scene of the shooting.

The State AG has been asked to investigate his death.

An attorney is calling for the California Attorney General to investigate the March 28 officer-involved shooting of Krys Brandon Ruiz because of officials’ alleged conflicts of interest in a letter sent to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s office and the Lompoc Police Department.

The case was turned over to the office of Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, who was the Lompoc police chief from 1995 to 2006 before becoming Sheriff.

Bill Schmidt, a Fresno-based attorney representing Ruiz’s family, cited as a foundation for the request Government Code 12525.3, which deals with police shootings of unarmed people, and AB 1506, a law approved by the governor on Sept. 30, 2020, that requires a state prosecutor to investigate when police use deadly force.

“Bill Brown oversaw the recruitment and training of that city’s police officers,” Schmidt wrote in the April 7 letter addressed to the sheriff’s office and the attorney general’s office. “Sheriff Brown is not only the county’s top law enforcement officer, he is also the coroner, charged with determining the manner and cause of death in this and similar cases.”

An hour before the shooting, Ruiz was dropped off at his apartment by his mother after dinner, blocks away from the shooting location, according to Schmidt, adding Ruiz wasn’t intoxicated or agitated.

“We don’t know what happened, whether they were trying to take him into custody for some reason, but we believe that it was virtually impossible that he had a gun, as far as we know,” Schmidt said. “The reality is that the police control all of the evidence and all of the information.”

Schmidt believes the shooting involved poor training standards, although he added that has yet to be seen. He filed a records request Thursday with Lompoc Police to release information about the incident, including all video recordings.

Krys obituary tells of a musical man blessed with creativity and the love of his family.

Krys was blessed in life with good, solid friendships over the years. He usually bonded with those that shared his love for either music or dogs. Some of Krys’ special friends are, Kira Kazianka, Bri Gusman, and Baylee Roche. They all bonded and remained close friends over the years, despite distance and time.

Krys’s smile lit up any room; it was very captivating. He was known for his ever-changing hair color. Along with his love of painting his face in different ways (from clown faces to scary faces and a short emo phase) he loved wearing baseball caps, comfy t-shirts, sunglasses and creative masks.

Krys was compassionate and kind; his love of family and friends knew no bounds. He will be forever missed. The family would like to extend deep thanks and gratitude to the many health care professionals who provided guidance and support to Krys and his family.

A “Celebration of Life” service was held at the Lompoc Evergreen Cemetery 600 S. C St. Lompoc, Ca. Friday, April 16th 2021 at 10:00am. A private burial took place at a later date.

R.I.P. Krys Brandon Ruiz

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender