ANTIOCH -- A man shot and killed on a rooftop by four police officers at the end of a chase through Antioch on Monday night was identified Wednesday as 32-year-old Pedro Ruiz.
Police came upon Ruiz after responding to a domestic violence call at about 11:15 p.m. on the 3200 block of Sycamore Drive, where they said he fled the scene armed with a gun and rammed two patrol cars.
He drove more than a mile and then hid behind homes along Wainfleet Court, a one-block street branching off Enea Way.
A helicopter apparently spotted Ruiz on a Wainfleet rooftop, and moments later police say he pointed a gun at officers. Four of them -- two in one location and two in another -- opened fire, killing him.
Riding in Ruiz's vehicle during the chase was his 3-year-old niece, who was unharmed, according to police and Ruiz's family.
Police Capt. Leonard Orman said officers did not know during the chase that a child had been in the vehicle.
Ruiz's sister, 36-year-old Antioch resident Maria Ruiz, said she'd arrived at a nearby corner while police were searching for him and begged an officer to let her help calm the situation, to no avail.
"I said, 'Please let me talk to him. Please don't hurt him. He's not trying to hurt nobody. I can make a difference. I can change the outcome,' " she said, adding that she begged to go and retrieve the young girl.
Instead, Ruiz said, an officer swore at her and threatened to arrest her if she didn't
Orman declined to respond Wednesday to Maria Ruiz's comments, writing in an email, "In most cases, we do not make a practice of publicly responding to comments by relatives and/or friends" of those wounded in officer-involved shootings. "Oftentimes, this is part of the grieving process for those who were close to the decedent."
Such issues are normally addressed in investigations, Orman said, and police will withhold comment until the investigation into the shooting is
Ruiz said she's heartbroken by the loss of her brother and that derisive comments from the public make it even harder to take.
"All the online comments on stories about him say, 'Another dirtbag off the street, good riddance,'" Ruiz said. "Everyone's talking so much out of anger, they don't understand who this person was."
Ruiz said her brother had no role in the domestic dispute call that police were responding to, and that he'd gone with her to help remove some children from the scene of a fight that had gotten out of control.
Her brother had a troubled criminal past and a bad relationship with police, Ruiz said, but added that he was a generous, loving father of two sons, and he'd been helping her raise her own children.
"He'd take them to the movies, to Chuck E. Cheese, play Xbox with them, help out with their chores, help them fix their bikes," she said. "He'd treat them for ice cream when he could. With my sons, he was trying to teach them how to be a man, to have good hygiene and to be responsible. My brother was very giving. He had a beautiful smile and the kindest, most soft eyes. They were just so pretty."
About 25 people gathered to remember Ruiz at a vigil Wednesday night not far from where he was killed. Several lit candles adorned the sidewalk on the corner of Wainfleet Court and Enea Way, as mourners talked quietly.
Contact Sean Maher at 925-943-8013. Follow him at Twitter.com/OneSeanMaher.