Phoenix man accused of armed robbery, threatening to shoot people at Home Depot – tattoos gave him away

of armed robbery with a deadly weapon after witnesses claim he showed a gun, and threatened to shoot them as he left a Home Depot store. 

On January 30th two male suspects entered a Home Depot store near Cave Creek and Bell roads around 8 p.m.

The two suspects allegedly walked around the store picking up numerous items. An employee then asked them if they needed assistance, as most store employees do, and the suspects reportedly rejected any help. 

According to the police report:

“[the] victim then observed both at separate times exit the store and then come back in. He observed the suspect in the red shirt holding a credit card and then overheard the suspect with the face tattoos say something to the effect, ‘not to worry about it he had a gun and would shoot them.’”

That’s when investigators say the victim called the police. During the phone conversation, the victim said he saw the first suspect leave the store and the second suspect was standing at the self-checkout line with a shopping cart full of items, Fox 10 reported.

According to investigators:

“[the] victim then observed him take off his black and red backpack and start to go through it and take out a black semiautomatic handgun.. said that the slide of the gun was back, and he could see the magazine and a bullet on top of the magazine,”

The victim told investigators that the suspect with facial tattoos then placed the gun in his waistband and began to walk out of the store while telling an employee at the exit that he had a gun and would shoot them.

Police were able to identify the suspect accused of leaving the Home Depot with the merchandise as 32-year-old Michael Ruiz, after interviewing witnesses and viewing surveillance camera footage. 

On February 21st, police successfully took Ruiz into custody in the area of 29th Street and Bell Road.

The police report states:

“Post-Miranda, Michael stated that he went inside the Home Depot to shoplift and that he left the store without paying for the items,”

It goes on to say:

“Michael stated that he had a BB gun.. that he took from the backpack and put it in his waistband.”

Detectives say Ruiz denied saying he would shoot anyone and stated that he did not point the gun at anyone. Ruiz admitted that there was another person in the store with him, but would not provide his name or information Fox 10 reported.

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Body cam video shows officers fatally shoot armed man holding baby hostage in Phoenix

January 28, 2021

PHOENIX, AZ – Phoenix police released video and 911 audio of an incident when officers shot and killed an armed man holding his baby hostage. The harrowing incident unfolded on January 9.

The incident began at approximately 3:15 p.m. when a hotel manager called 911 reporting a man assaulting a woman. Several other 911 calls received included reports of a man fighting with a woman and reports of a man shooting at people.

Another call to 911 came from a woman at the hotel who said the man took her baby:

“My husband just took my baby. He has a gun. He’s loaded. He took the baby. He is trying to kill him. He’s fired. He’s shooting…he’s going to kill people.”

Paul Bolden rips the baby from the mother's arms (Phoenix Police Dept.)
Paul Bolden rips the baby from the mother’s arms (Phoenix Police Dept.)

Surveillance video captured 37-year-old Paul Bolden wrestling a baby from the arms of a woman in the parking lot of the hotel.  The man then ran into traffic on Van Buren Street, and several 911 calls reported he stopped a car and held the driver at gunpoint.

One 911 caller told a dispatcher:

“I’m at the McDonald’s drive-thru and there’s this black man that stopped a white car and he has a gun and has a baby in his arms. He stopped the white car in the street, and he has a baby in his arms, and he has a gun.’

Bolden runs inti traffic carrying the baby and a firearm. (Phoenix Police Dept.)
Bolden runs into traffic carrying the baby and a firearm. (Phoenix Police Dept.)

Officers arrived within one minute of the 911 call and reported they observed Bolden firing his gun while holding the baby.  Body camera video shows officers drawing weapons, and one officer can be heard radioing, “He has a kid hostage right now. He has a gun. One gunshot already.”

The officer can be heard on the video telling Bolden to put the baby down as two other officers arrived. Officers told Bolden to drop his gun, but he refused. One of the arriving officers uses a police vehicle door to steady the aim of his rifle toward Bolden. The officer fired one shot, striking Bolden in the head.

A Phoenix officer fires one round from his rifle striking Bolden (Phoenix Police Dept.)
A Phoenix officer fires one round from his rifle striking Bolden (Phoenix Police Dept.)

The officer later said that he fired because the man had placed his gun to the baby’s head and was also pointing the firearm at other bystanders. A critical incident briefing issued by the Phoenix police said:

“Officers told the suspect to drop the gun and he refused. Two other officers arrived to help. An officer armed with his city-issued rifle shot at the suspect when he saw the suspect point the gun at the baby and others.”

Officers can be seen on video running over to the man, and one officer picks up the baby and runs away from the scene. One officer can be seen taking the child to a police vehicle and consoling him while checking for any injuries. The officer can be heard on video talking to the child to calm him:

“Hi buddy, hey buddy, are you okay?” Hi, bud. I know?”

An officer grabbed the child and carried him to safety (Phoenix Police Dept.)
An officer grabbed the child and carried him to safety (Phoenix Police Dept.)

Bolden was transported to a local hospital where he later died, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

The baby suffered sore ears, but no other injuries. No officers were injured, and some bystanders suffered only minor injuries, according to authorities. Police reported:

“There were no injuries to officers or any serious injuries to community members. The gunfire from Bolden struck nearby businesses.”

Several businesses were damaged by bullets fire by Bolden (Phoenix Police Dept.)
Several businesses were damaged by bullets fired by Bolden (Phoenix Police Dept.)

The officer who fired the shot has been with the Phoenix Police Department for four years. He is assigned to the Mountain View Precinct.

Police have identified the woman who was fighting with Bolden as his girlfriend, and police confirmed the baby was his son.

Police recovered the gun used by Bolten at the scene (Phoenix Police Dept.)
Police recovered the gun used by Bolten at the scene (Phoenix Police Dept.)

The shooting is being reviewed by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, as is normal procedure following a fatal police shooting.

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Author: K. Winters

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