A 33-year-old Santa Monica woman remains in critical condition at a local hospital after she was allegedly shot by her estranged husband, who was later killed in an officer involved shooting blocks away Oct. 22, police said.
The suspect, identified by the county coroner as James Ramirez, 33, of Los Angeles, was fatally shot by police near Ninth Street and Broadway in Santa Monica after he allegedly refused to obey officers’ commands, retrieved a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at the officers, said Sgt. Jay Trisler, police spokesman. Police were continuing to investigate if Ramirez had fired at police, Trisler said. No officers were injured in the shooting.
The suspect’s estranged wife is currently in critical condition after being treated for severe injuries. The couple has a four-year-old daughter, who is currently staying with relatives, police said.
The incident began shortly before 6:10 p.m. in a lot to the rear of 1345 Seventh Street, where the couple was in a parked vehicle and apparently had an argument regarding a domestic-related issue, police said.
“It was some type of domestic dispute,” Trisler said.
The woman was shot while sitting in her vehicle and then tried to escape on foot, police said. As the woman got out of the car, the suspect allegedly continued to attack her, shooting at her several more times and ultimately incapacitating her with wounds to the head and upper torso, Trisler said.
Witnesses told police that the suspect then momentarily pointed the gun at himself but then placed the weapon in his waistband and ran towards Santa Monica Boulevard.
When officers arrived at the scene, the victim, who was still conscious, told them that her husband had shot her, Trisler said.
A description of the suspect was given to police and two officers in a marked patrol car were able to locate him as he was running northbound on Ninth Street from Broadway.
The officers ordered Ramirez to stop as he was running towards them, but after he allegedly did not comply and pointed the firearm at them, officers fatally shot the suspect, police said. Ramirez was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Justice System Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will assist in the investigation to determine if proper police protocols were followed in the officer involved shooting.
The criminal investigation is being handled by the Santa Monica Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Unit.
The incident followed a series of other serious crimes in the city in less than a week, including the shooting of a 15-year-old boy in the leg at Seventh and Ozone streets Oct. 19, and the robberies of two female students Oct. 21. Four suspects have been arrested in connection with the latter incident.
Trisler called the death of Ramirez and the shooting of his estranged wife an “unfortunate circumstance,” but does not believe that and the prior incidents are reflective of an increase in crime in Santa Monica.
“I don’t think it’s indicative that there is a crime trend,” Trisler said. “Santa Monica is still a safe place.”