GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Greensboro police have identified the sergeant and two officers involved in what police described as an “officer-involved shooting” that left a suspect dead.
On June 30, Greensboro police say Sgt. Andrew J. Muldowney, Officer Johnathan L. Greene and Officer Gage A. Kirkland were involved in the shooting that killed suspect Ernesto Ruiz, 41. All three have been placed on administrative duty.
At around 9:41 p.m. on June 30, officers responded to a report of gunfire on the 3100 block of Creek Ridge Road. Callers said they heard gunshots and fireworks and reported that there was a person allegedly throwing knives.
At the scene, police confirmed that fireworks were being set off but did not find a person with knives.
At around 9:55 p.m. that night, officers responded to a report of weapons/firearms in the area of Creek Ridge Road and Randleman Road.
At the scene, police say they found Ruiz armed with what looked like “one large knife and one machete” along Creek Ridge Road near Rehobeth Church Road. Police say officers made contact with him, but he began to run east on Creek Ridge Road towards Randleman Road, refusing officers’ commands.
Investigators chased the allegedly armed suspect for about 1.5 miles down Creek Ridge Road and tried to use “less-lethal options” like pepper spray and a stun gun.
Police say that they were unsuccessful in getting him to comply, and the man continued to run until they reached the parking lot of a BP on the 2600 block of Randelman Road. At that point, Ruiz allegedly “stopped, changed direction and began advancing towards officers with the knives.”
That’s when Greensboro police say Muldowney, Greene and Kirkland fired their weapons and struck Ruiz. Officers began rendering aid until EMS arrived. The suspect was taken to a local hospital and was declared dead on arrival.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has responded and will conduct a criminal investigation into the fatal shooting, as is standard protocol. The GPD’s Professional Standards Division is also conducting an internal investigation to determine if GPD policies were followed.