SAN FRANCISCO -- As a San Francisco police officer shot during a Mission District traffic stop progressed in his recovery Monday afternoon, investigators hinged their hopes on finding the bullet to determine whether he was shot by his partner or the arrested suspect.

Investigators on Monday made plans to interview Officer Adam Shaw for the first time since he was wounded Saturday in the 1300 block of Florida Street, where authorities have since been unable to recover the bullet that struck the six-year officer, said San Francisco police Officer Gordon Shyy.

Authorities had awaited Shaw's shoulder surgery at San Francisco General Hospital, where he remains in "good spirits" two days into his recovery.

Officer Adam Shaw, 28, of San Francisco’s Mission Station.
Officer Adam Shaw, 28, of San Francisco's Mission Station. (Courtesy San Francisco Police Dept.)

"We were hoping the bullet could be recovered during the surgery on Saturday," said Shyy, who noted the crime scene was also thoroughly searched for the slug. "However, Officer Shaw suffered a through and through gunshot wound, meaning the bullet did not stop in his arm when it struck him."

The recovery of the bullet that hit Shaw will shed light on who shot him, Shyy said. While the suspect, 50-year-old Jeffrey Ruano, was arrested in San Jose early Sunday following a high-speed chase through four counties, police have been unable to conclude that he fired a gun or that he had one at all.

Shaw's partner, who has not been identified, fired several rounds at the Ford Mustang as it began to back up toward Shaw. The partner is the only person police can definitively say fired a gun at the scene, Shyy said.

Though an independent witness on Florida Street said she heard a gunshot from the suspect's vehicle, no firearm was found on Ruano, nor in the Mustang found abandoned in Daly City or the white Mercedes sedan he drove during the police chase.

Ruano was charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition when a .38 caliber cartridge was found in his pants pocket, but his assault with a deadly weapon charge refers to his car, not a gun, police said. Shyy could not confirm whether Ruano's home had been searched for additional weapons.

San Francisco police officers are issued .40 caliber cartridges for their service handguns and any other type of bullet would have come from a non department-issued gun, Shyy said. It would be nearly impossible to determine from Shaw's flesh wound whether it was a .38 or a .40 caliber bullet that hit him, the similarities in caliber making it too difficult to differentiate by appearances alone.

Despite the lack of a handgun in his immediate possession, the nine-hour span between when the shooting occurred and when Ruano was arrested placed him in two different cars and five different counties. Shyy said it is not unfathomable that he may have ditched a weapon while evading police, an act Ruano had been charged with at least two other times before.

In San Mateo County, Ruano was charged with evading officers in 1998 and 2005, in addition to charges for felony auto theft in 1998 and drug distribution charges spanning back to 1988, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. While none of Ruano's charges in the county had anything to do with firearms, he did have a pending weapons charge and an active warrant out for his arrest for failing to show up to court Feb. 4 for illegal possession of a switchblade knife.

Shyy also noted authorities have also not ruled out the possibility the shot was fired by someone else.

"Absent an eyewitness actually seeing the shooting, the recovery of the bullet would be the key that would be most helpful," Shyy said. "But we're looking into a number of leads and no lead will not be followed."

Anyone with information about the shooting may contact the San Francisco police anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444.

Contact Erin Ivie at eivie@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.