JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Detectives conducting a stakeout after a string of armed robberies of convenience stores say they shot a 17-year-old after he held up a Kangaroo store on Old Middleburg Road with a toy gun.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Chief Tom Hackney said the detectives saw someone with a gun enter the store and hold up two clerks and run outside.
Police later identified the robbery suspect as Craig Ruise.
Officers told Ruise to put the gun down, and when he didn't, they fired seven or eight times.
"That subject failed to comply. He was still armed with a gun in his hand as well as money from the robbery," Hackney said.
Ruise was killed at the scene.
No officers were injured.
Ruise, who had no prior felonies, was using a toy gun that was spray painted black, said police.
Police believe Ruise was involved in eight robberies at two Kangaroo gas stations on the Westside since November.
"The disregard for human life that he has, the disregard for his own life that he has is evident and certainly we don't like anything that results in a fatality or deadly use of force but we're glad he's not there to rob anymore," said Hackney.
The officers who shot Ruise, Mark Campanaro, a 10 year veteran, and William Irvin, a 5 year veteran, were placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure.
Friends of Ruise gathered at the gas station Saturday night to remember him and console one another.
"He shouldn't of died over probably $100 or $200," said Chauncey Love. "He shouldn't have died over that. That's crazy."
Love believes police were too quick to pull the trigger, but Hackney defended his officers.
"At that point, in time with seconds to make decisions, you're not going to risk your life as a police officer on trying to debate whether that is a plastic gun, a real gun, or a fake gun," said Hackney.
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