A Jacksonville teen caught robbing a convenience store with a fake gun was shot and killed by police after he refused to drop the gun. Jacksonville robbery detectives had been staking out a Westside Kangaroo store, one of two that had been held up nine times in the last two months, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Police saw Craig Ruise, 17, enter the store through a side door just before 3 a.m., and watched through the window as he pointed a gun in the clerk’s face and was given money from the register, the newspaper reported. Detectives confronted Ruise on his way out of the store and ordered him to drop the gun and stop. Ruise did not, police told the newspaper, and officers fired seven to eight shots, mostly hitting him in the torso.
Ruise was still holding the gun, which police later determined was a plastic replica spray-painted black.
According to Florida law and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office policy, officers can use deadly force if they believe their lives are in danger. In this case, with an armed robber refusing to drop his weapon, the two officers involved are almost certain to be cleared. Police could not know at the time the gun was a fake and that will likely not be held against them by an internal review board. Some police have been disciplined – even fired – in recent years for their role in shootings, but none has ever been charged criminally in Duval County.
In the heat of an arrest or a chase, always obey the orders of a police officer. Stop when he or she tells you to stop. Don’t risk the possibility of an officer thinking you are trying to harm him or her. When it comes time to talk, that’s when you can exercise your rights. Ask for an Jacksonville attorney, who will advise you of what to do or say – or not to say. Our Jacksonville criminal defense law firm can discuss your case with you and examine the reports and evidence against you to help determine the best way to fight the charges against you.
If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County robbery lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.