Only On 7: Family of Sunnyvale man killed by police seeks answers

September 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The family of a Sunnyvale man who was shot to death by a team of undercover drug officers is trying to find some answers. It's a story you'll only see on ABC7 News.

From SKY7 HD, you can see what looks like the aftermath of a shootout. The white truck belongs to 34-year-old Juan Ruelas.

According to the police, this was a drug arrest that went bad. But Ruelas' family tells us this was not a shootout because he never fired a shot.

"Our question was, you know, 'Was he armed?'" said Ruelas' sister, Maria Bunker. "And he just told my brother, 'no, we never found a weapon.'"

Ruelas was shot multiple times by six different officers.

According to investigators, he had just allegedly sold a pound of methamphetamine to undercover police. Those officers say he threatened them and they thought he was reaching for a weapon so they fired.

His family says they're puzzled by that story.

"The pictures that we see all over the media, they show his truck being boxed in," Bunker said. "He had a stroke recently so it's like, he wasn't going to run from them."

The shooting is being investigated by Sunnyvale police. We talked with them by phone Saturday. They confirmed that a weapon was not found on Ruelas, or in his truck.

Five of the officers who fired on Ruelas are from the Santa Clara Police Department. Another is a Santa Clara County deputy.

Ruelas' family says this is the first they've heard about any involvement with drugs.

"If he was in the wrong, fine," Bunker said. "You know, we'll accept it, but they don't have any proof that he was armed, or he had a weapon."

Right now, they are waiting to collect Ruelas' body. And they want to know why he was shot so many times by police.


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