Centralia Police have identified the officer involved in the shooting death of a shoplifting suspect who pulled a gun on police.
Officer Ruben Ramirez is a 15-year veteran with the department who is a K-9 officer and a member of the special weapons and tactics team.
The report of male suspect shoplifting a burrito from a store located at 520 South Tower Avenue came in around 10 a.m. on Sunday.
When Officer Ramirez arrived in the area he located the male across the street from the store. Police say when the officer got out of his patrol car, the suspect became belligerent and fought when the officer attempted to place him into custody. The officer deployed his K-9 to assist with the arrest.
While fighting with the suspect the officer called for back-up. Police say as the fight continued the suspect attempted to reach into his pocket but the K-9 grabbed a hold of the suspect’s arm, preventing him from pulling his hand from his pocket.
Police say the K-9 momentarily released his hold on the suspect and the suspect then put his hand back into his pocket and pulled out a handgun.
The K-9 bite onto the arm of the suspect again and the officer saw the weapon. The officer then drew his weapon and fired at least one round, striking the suspect. The suspect died at the scene.
The suspect is a 43-three year old Centralia man.
Officer Ramirez has been placed on adminstrative leave during the investigation, per department policy.
The incident will be investigated by a team made up of detectives from Thurston, Lewis, Pacific, Grays Harbor and Mason County Sheriffs' Offices.