[UPDATE 8:15 a.m. Saturday] Man Dead After Shootout With Hoopa Tribal Police, Says HCSO


Crime scene tape crosses Hwy 96 as law enforcement investigates the scene of an officer involved shooting. [Photo generously provided by North Coast News.]

At approximately 7:30 p.m. in front of the Ray’s Store in Hoopa, a man on a motorcycle reportedly shot another man in the leg.

In what we believe is a related incident, a suspect being pursued by Hoopa Tribal Police exchanged shots with officers around 8:30 p.m. The suspect was injured.  Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies are now responding in support of the tribal police.

North Coast News’ Lindsay Housaman tells us that the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is “investigating an officer involved shooting with a tribal police officer.” Housaman says that “the suspect was apprehended in the Yurok Tribal area” with non-life threatening injuries.

UPDATE 10:30 p.m.: According to the scanner, the gunshot victim from Hoopa is at MRCH [Mad River Community Hospital] “and ready for interview.”

UPDATE 12 a.m.: A suspect is dead after allegedly shooting at a Hoopa tribal officer. Because of the shooting, Hwy 96 is currently closed for an investigation and traffic is being diverted to Hwy 169. The investigation is expected to take around 12 hours.

According to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, about 8:30 p.m. a Hoopa tribal officer was in pursuit of a stolen motorcycle that he had reason to believe was involved in the earlier shooting in front of Ray’s in Hoopa. As the pursuit approached the Weitchpec bridge at the junction of Hwy 96 and 169, the suspect shot at the officer.

According to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the Tribal Police officer fired back in self-defense. The suspect was struck at least once. The suspect is deceased. The officer did not receive any injuries.

The shooting is being investigated by CIRT which consists of the Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, the Eureka Police Department, and Humboldt State University Police. As is standard in these situations, the officer has been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete. His weapon and clothing will be examined as part of the investigation.

UPDATE 8:15 a.m.:

North Coast News reports, “[T]he Hoopa Valley Tribal police car involved in the incident was hit by gunfire. It appeared as if the driver’s side window had been hit by a bullet.”




  • Very good reporting

  • Please keep us updated.

  • Is anyone surprised by this? Seriously…Hoopa is living in it’s own world. Its corrupt because their own people make it that way. It’s political mayhem. They claim tradition but its a front for money and personal interest. This was another theft or drug case. Let them be sovereign. just not at the rest of societies expense.

    the tribe needs to gather respected elders and let them choose the leadership. Maybe then things would improve. Instead they elect kids with no experience and expect that they have the skills and tools to figure out how to be a CEO…not gunna happen and they continue to nose dive.

    they might listen to their elders. that is tradition. maybe them progress could be made. right now, it’s like a drug cartel, from the top of the heap to the the downtown tweeker.

    never seen such corruption as ive seen in hoopa. how depressing.

    • Un dam the Klamath

      You are the epitome of ignorance and naivety. I am white. Are you white? I ask because if you are, you live on stolen land and you should ask yourself how you benefit from your privilege before you judge the circumstances faced by Native American communities all over the country, and particularly in you own back yard.

      • He made some good points I like the listenIng to your elders part.I’m still grateful that we have a few Dams to help the fish during the dry season as well.

    • Since the [edit] that was shot in the leg and recovering at MRCH is from trinity county, as is the deceased how does this implicate the Hoopa Community other than the 2x murderous mentally disjointed Yurok Tribal member officer of the Hoopa Tribal SECURITY department!! Your ignorance to the drug traffickers is funny! The HUMBOLDT county sheriffs department has historically trafficked methamphetamine and heroin into and out of the river communities for decades! The current Sherrif is more dirty and sloppy than the prior three! EDUCATE YOUSELF BEFORE YOU THINK YOU ARE THE SPOKESPERSON FOR NORTHEASTERN HUMBOLDT COUNTY!

      • Truth Not Politics

        Really? How oblivious to the truth can you be. Blame everyone, don’t look at your own problems, just spread lies and whine about “ethnic trauma”. No wonder Bobby Kane quit his job. Have you reported the drug dealer deputies to the FBI or DEA? Here’s some numbers to call. Redding DEA 530-722-1432. SF DEA, 415-436-7900. Or the FBI, which has jurisdiction on tribal lands. SF office, 415-553-7400. Or Bureau of Indian Affairs Law Enforcement, 916-978-6000. IF you have any proof whatsoever, you should take it to the proper authorities, not just spout lies on blogs…

    • Uhm, the man who was shot and killed, is white.

      I see you are upset, you must have lost your rent money at one of our casinos and now feel the need to vent a little. That’s cool, but maybe you would like to save those words for a time when they might actually be relevant to the story?

    • I take it you are from Hoopa? You seem to know so much about the people and their culture! First of all you make the same mistake as so many others by clumping everyone into one big lump.[edit] I Happen to know good hard working people on the Rez and yes their are drugs, and drink there. As there is everywhere else. But to make such hurtful comments as if you have the cure for the abuse of substance’s. Let’s hear it. Is your life so perfect, have you made no mistakes or have you never ever done anything you were ashamed of? What right have you to pass judgment over these people. My two grandsons are native American and yes they are from Hoopa. They are honorable young men, hard working and very much into their culture and beliefs. They believe in preserving life and nature. So before you pass any kind of judgment know what [edit] your talking about. So save the nasty comments I won’t be seeing them.

  • Shot suspect has had stolen vehicle and was wanted for questioning of videoing of him breaking into a car wash in Weaverville Saturday or Sunday through the weekend. Shot suspect now becomes victim. Both of them were involved in stealing myfamilies car . They have been involved in many robberies and victimizing the community of Willowcreek Hoopa salyer burntranch all the way up to Weaverville people have had enough.The shot victim is the suspect Trinity County sheriffs need to be notified that he is in custody at mad River immediately he’s wanting questioning. Tribal did a better job helping us find the shot suspect than local sherif for sure . Thank you . My kids r safe now . Lock up Lincoln Ammon

    • Doesn'ttakeagenius

      I don’t think you should give “tribal” so much credit for finding the shot suspect. I mean how difficult could it possibly be to find a person who was just shot in the parking lot of the one Grocery store in a tiny town like Hoopa where the Tribal Police station is right across the road?

  • For once, lets not blame the cop. Let’s think about the person who was shot, what was he thinking? Why would he shoot first?

    Ya sure, go with your comments about the police reports lying.. Think about it. This tribal police officer did not want to do this to anyone. But everyday, he says goodbye to his family, he says I’ll see you later, knowing that he may not see them later.

    Let’s show some support for this guy, who was probably in the scariest moment if his life. He’s the guy that comes when an unknown person is knocking in your door. He’s the guy that comes when your alarm is sounding. He’s the guy that’s there to help. He will give his life for you.

    Respect this guy. He saved his own life, his family’s life, his friends life. He’s here to protect you.

    And if you don’t believe me, try to live a day in his shoes.

    • This is his second murder in a little over 2 years! Give me a break!

      • Gotta blame some one for the loss of your son. Don’t take any accountability. One day you’ll need a cop to save your life or to stop someone from harming you and without judgement or second thought they’ll come. Why don’t you stop with all the finger pointing at law enforcement and take a second to stop and think before you speak. You have no clue what it’s like to be cop. You have no clue what it’s like to leave your family night after night not knowing if you’ll come home to your loved ones. You have no clue what happened when your son lost his life, why cuz you were not there. But it’s so easy to put the blame on someone else. Cops do a job no one else will or could do. What would you do if someone was a second away from taking your life? Prolly what everyone else would do and protect yourself so you can live another day. If you think for a second a cop who has to take another human life is all happy and all warm and fuzzy inside guess again. He regrets it every day and he could only wish he could do it again and have a different outcome where he didn’t have to take someone else’s life. There’s no doubt that what happened to your son is tragic but stop getting on here every time an officer does something where his or her own life is on the line and making them out to be the bad guy. It’s not fair in the slightest, especially if you have no idea what’s happening because you were not there and you don’t know what’s going through their minds. Your opinion is biased to say the least.

    • In this case, he’s also the guy willing to serve in a community comprised of relatives. That’s a tough lot if you have a few that you see in your line of work. No fun. As far as kid’s with no experience, yes, sometimes. I think that’s changed with current leadership. The problem in the valley; drugs. Eradicate drug dealers and pass through the proposed treatment center. Way past due. Lastly, Hoopa had first contact in 1828. Think about that for a second. Since then they have endured extermination campaigns, forced removal, a two years guerilla war to keep their land, land loss, children mandated to boarding schools, and a constant struggle to uphold their sovereign rights, all in a less than 200 year period. That’s nothing in thr historical bucket. Instead of calling divisive names, perhaps understand that the Hoopa people have endured and survived what was literally meant to kill them. It takes a little time to recover from that prolonged violence. And to be sure, adding drugs and alcohol to the mix does nothing but keep people stuck in the sick mode. Hoopa needs to address the drugs, once and for all, and focus on healing it’s own sick people. How many generations does this need to go on? When do we exchange our loyalty to family members doing wrong to an overall commitment to truly going back to what is traditional, and that is sobriety.

    • This officer acted absolutely appropriately, but you don’t have to deify him.

      All of us say goodbye to our family every morning not knowing if we will see them again. Many of us hold jobs that have a higher death rate the police officers.

      You say he will give his life for mine?
      Maybe this particular officer will, I don’t know him, but many officers will not. Their primary duty is to protect themselves, not us. The courts have even ruled that police have no duty to protect us.

      That said, good job officer!

  • I kind of agree with nonohum. Hoopa has been a mess for a very long time. I worked at MRCH and in Witchpec in the medical community and the nonsense that goes on out there is a mess, the worst in the county, and it is not outsiders coming into the area causing the problems. That area needs leadership! Non-corrupt leadership, good luck with that. I won’t go out there, it is a violent, crazy ass place. It is so sad to see a community killing it’s own self. Where is the pride? Where is the community? Where is the leadership? What the hell people? Get it together if you want to see your tribe survive. You are killing each other!

    • Statistically the crime rates are higher off the Hoopa Reservation than on the Hoopa Reservation!

    • The man accused of shooting at the cop and lost his life, is a white male, not Hupa, Yurok, Karuk, or any other native, he’s white. You guys who are attempting to make this about race and bashing natives are just showing the world exactly WHY our native communities are still in the conditions they are in. Stop it. A man is dead, let’s focus on that here. If you want to see changes on the various reservations then by all means come up and volunteer some time to help us clean out the drug dealers who are infesting our communities.

  • Can we just have prayers…can you not see all of our communities are suffering. Someone lost a child, a parent, a friend, a love and now an officer will be judged, scrutinized and will be questioning their own decision. I can only assume both were in fear…and the outcome is no one’s wishes. Right or wrong, good or bad, it still hurts a family a friend a community. Save your judgment, for none of us have the right to judge.

  • How dare you involve a whole community in activities by the few you see and judge that leadership is corrupt we have to live and do the best we can with what we have this is truly one of the most beautiful places to live in the county and these poor people did not grow poppies for heroin and create chemicals for meth labs own what is your own. Then and only then will things change for the better. Drugs are evil and we are all infected by their influence. And if you wont come here good we don’t need your kind of trouble making we have enough problems to deal with without you and yours. This is a tragic event I am standing right here doing the best that I can to help.

  • Hoopa Tribal Police officer Seth Ruiz logistically had no authority to chase the suspect shooter off the Hoopa Reservation! I will guess that he did not get authorization from Yurok Tribal Police or Humboldt County Sherrif’s Department to continue his persuit off of the Hoopa Rez! 2 murders in 2 years is a little out of control for Mr Ruiz! Hell he shouldn’t be allowed to carry a weapon! If they gave him authorization then they need to re-evaluate their decision making skills! Prayers to the family and their lost loved one!

  • I love the ignorance from those who do not know the people from from any of their neighboring reservations. The comments posted are suggestive that Native Lives don’t matter. The problems faced on the reservations are the same in any community. I believe just a few days ago there was a huge meth and heroin bust in Eureka and a month before that an even larger marijuana bust in southern humboldt. This sounds like the kettle calling the pot black. Drugs are every where in Humbodt County and affect all those who reside in the County. I believe what truly needs to happen is an increase in Law enforcement throughout Humboldt instead of cutting their budget and limiting the number of law enforcement. The “self concern” on this page does nothing to solve the issues. If you’re not part of the solution you are a part of the problem.

    • Drugs are everywhere, but less than 200 years ago Hupa people had strict moral codes and guidelines against this kind of behavior. Hupa people need to stand up to drug dealers in their own community, whether they are relatives or not. It needs to be across the board so that the message is loud and clear. We won’t accept it anymore. Hupa people need to stand up for the Hupa people who are living in a good way, and stand up against those who are not. If this doesn’t /isn’t happening, what are we teaching youth, other than living in the presence of drugs in our community is acceptable, and we are only willing to set you up to survive, not thrive.

      • ilivedtherefor15years

        The drug use in hoopa is generational. No one is going to tell their grandma to stop smoking meth when they themselves are addicted. I have witnessed entire families getting high together. And when I quit using, I was attacked and beaten up by the same people for bettering myself. For every thirty unemployed drug addicts there is maybe one employed tax payer not on drugs.

      • I agree, people need to stand up. What about the Tribal ordinance to ban drug dealers and pedophiles from the Rez? Did that ever get anywhere? It’s good start, show those people that they can’t do those things there.

  • The cop was doing his job.You hire someone for this post,give him a gun,and a badge to protect you and your property and then when he does his job and this.happens you yell murder.How the hell is it murder when your shooting at a cop and he fires back ,that’s his job he’s paid to do.you can’t have it both ways,no how no way.prayers to all family’s involved and please all be kind to each other.some mother lost her child today

  • The deceased was NOT a Hoopa tribal member, the person he confronted IS NOT from Hoopa, neither are they residents of Hoopa Valley itself, the incident happend in Weitchpec, off the reservation.
    Seth did NOT murder anyone. He fired in self-defense. In the other case over a year ago, he chased a suspect, who was in possession of a stolen vehicle. That suspect fled toward the river, in the winter cold and drowned.
    He was doing his job, a much needed duty with all of the theft, and drug crime that happens, how does anyone suddenly say he is corrupt?
    The comment above is right, you cannot have it both ways! Yes, the loss of the young man will be heartbreaking, but he made choices that were for himself and it killed him. Had he thought about others and thought better of himself, he would not have been caught up in that kind of life.
    Prayers for his family, they are no doubt hurting tremendously, and to the officer, as he faces the (double standard) scrutiny of the community.

    • To Stop. You obviously don’t know the facts about the first murder. Seth used his gun as a threat pushing Dwight into the River. There was two witnesses under the bridge who watched it all. Dwight ended up knee deep in the water he held his hands and arms up to give himself up when Seth Tazed him which electrocuted Dwight. Dwight held out his hands to Seth and said Help but Seth had a smirk on his face and watched him float down the river and drown. Yes that was out and out murder. And this new one. Sure people have choices and this fella made some bad choices, Seth is Gun.Happy and always has a smirk like he really gets off on killing somebody. He tore out of Hoopa after the suspect with one intent and that was to hope he shot and killed him. Any other officer would hav acted differently. They would hav known when it was no longer his jurisdiction but Seth didn’t call and didn’t care. This was a mental.health and drug issue. If Seth was not Shot he should hav shot only to mame not kill. He should know how to do that. But he doesn’t care. He has mental issues himself he can’t even pass a Psych eval.

    • Not to be nit-picky, but Weitchpec isn’t actually “off the reservation”, it’s Yurok reservation.

    • I agree with you. Prayers to the hurting families. Thanks for sticking up for Seth. He was doing his job. The only difference is his job requires him to make life changing decisions in a fraction of a second. Not an easy thing to do.

  • Pingback: Investigation Continues Into Officer Involved Shooting | Redheaded Blackbelt

  • knew the deceased

    Lets go ahead and clear a few things up. The guy that died lastnight did infact graduate from HVHS and has family members in and around the area. He is infact White yes but was and is accepted by many Natives on the Hoopa Valley Reservation. My Family and I lived out there for 8years and were all considered “White”. So I know a few things like Hoopa tribal has no jurisdiction on Yurok lands and vice versa. Unless there is an extreme issue and backup from other parties is necessary. Furthermore theres drugs everywhere You go its just more noticeable for Hoopa because the media puts it out to be that way. Last I counted Eureka, Arcata, and Mckinleyville are infact 100x worse than Hoopa and surrounding Areas will ever be. Theres bad people everywhere you will go in life. Not just The reservation. So the dead man made some poor choices in life due to the decision he made to use drugs but that was his choice people who knew him knew it was the drugs that were a main factor in the cause of what made hime to make such poor choices

  • All of humboldt county is plagued with drugs and the violence it perpetuates. Marijuana to Meth, it’s the root of all problems

    • Drugs aren’t the root of all problems. It’s the illegality of drugs that is the root of all drug related problems.

  • Witnesses under a bridge, to an event that occurred when it was dark could see all of that?
    It sounds like you have a personal agenda with Officer Ruiz.
    The common factors in each instance is clear: both assailants were drug abusers and in possession of stolen property, caught committing a crime. I sincerely doubt Officer Ruiz wakes up, waiting for such opportunities to pass. If there was such evidence, as you claim, of that instance transpiring with the death of Hostler, then the investigators of that matter failed miserably to take disciplinary action against Ruiz. You should forward that information to proper officials; unless it was already investigated properly, and the witnesses were found not credible….because, oh, gee, I don’t know, they are drug and/or alcohol abusers who were too impaired to make a positive statement.

    And yes, Weitchpec is of the Yurok. Reservation community, people outside of the boundaries don’t distinguish that from Hoopa though, that is a gray area error.

    This whole incident was catalogued by scanner traffic, this young man was armed, had already shot another person and was therefore dangerous. The police responded, did as they were trained and did what was necessary to subdue the subject.
    It is likely that if you do not do bad things, bad things likely won’t happen to you.

    • sounds like WANT THE TRUTH is hostlers sis [edit] She’s always running her mouth. [edit] Hum co ruled [edit: the witnesses] out and no other evidence of tazer shots. Another case of no common sense. If you commit a crime and run from cops or shoot at cops or threaten/attempt to injure a cop, you’re probably getting shot and likely killed. It’s cause and reaction. Don’t shoot at people, especially people who have the authority to shoot you, and you will live. It’s pretty basic.

      Any loss of live is sad but people make decisions that put their lives in jeopardy. Be accountable for your actions

      Peace and love.

  • The plight of the Hoopa community is so desperately laughable! You want someone to do something about the druggies and thieves. When one of them conducts themselves in a felonious manner and pays the tragic price, you rant about it…suppose the officer let this individual go, you would rant about that too.
    You all want to be angry, be angry at your brothers and sisters, be angry at your nieces and nephews, cousins, sons and daughters who perpetuate the cycle of addiction disease and death, and do nothing to help themselves. The anger toward authority for enforcing the law is seriously misplaced and reeks of a dysfunctional community standard.
    There is the real tragedy. Prayers for you all.

  • Does anyone know the name of the person who was shot in front of Ray’s?

  • I just want the freaking number for The Critical Incident Response Team! Can someone please tell me how to get a hold of them??

  • It is sad what drugs are doing to all of our communities, not just Hoopa. We are losing our younger population. We need walk in drug treatment centers, better drug education for our youth and job training and jobs for young people. The young man that died was not a tribal member, and from what I understand, not yet an adult. Prayers are with his parents who once had high hopes for a son now gone.

  • fun fact…I’m half white and on my mother is wintun, as am I. What I said was my opinion and my observation, that’s it. No beef with a casino and not white privilege. But seeing the reactions is interesting. I’m consider myself native as that is the tradition I was raised. Never spent much time with my “white” side. I’m allowed to have an opinion whether I’m wintun or white. My criticism comes from experience and observation. My criticism does not mean I am without compassion. I’m a realist and there are real problems in Hoopa. It’s not about the color of your skin. Live a good life and do good by others. If you shoot at the police, you’re probably going to get yourself shot or killed. That’s common sense.

  • ironically, I’m Mexican and Wintun, so I have a hard time accepting I stole land. Ha! Second, Im not white privilege, but that’s funny. Third, my comments are my opinion, based on experience and observation. I am entitled to have an opinion and accept differing points of view. Fourth, I under stand oppression but I’m a realist too. The problems in hoops are real, as are problems everywhere. My point was that the tribe, just like any other one, often works against itself and its people. The people in power quickly forget their campaign promises. But I see hoopa as being a current extreme example of the corrupt tribal political cog.

    My suggestion of letting respected elders choose the leadership still stands. We have much to learn from them. We know this, but we don’t always practice this. Until the corruption is sanitized it should be considered. Tribal politics and corrupt big families are the problem. If those in power can’t see the err in their ways, true change will never occur.

    The fact that my comments caused the reaction it did, tells me I was very close to the truth. I’ve lived in hoopa, willow creek, all over nor cal. From what I know and see, problems will continue to fester. If we, as sovereign people, can’t follow and enforce our own rules, we will fail. It may not be easy to hear but it is the truth.

    There was a loss of life and that is tragic for everyone. I respect the family’s loss and do not want my opinions to cause harm to them. As I said, my opinions our simply my opinions. I did not ask for everyone to agree, just consider.

    Leadership and change comes only from a pure heart. I am not a trouble maker. That’s also a new title…a White privilege, Troublemaking…. Latino-Injun…anyone else see the irony?

    Just because hoopa has problems, doesn’t mean they’re hopeless. There are wonderful people that I love there…I just think the corruption runs too deep. They will likely self destruct and then rebuild. Then change will happen…finally.

  • LeAnna Carson-Hansen

    Pretty powerful comments on this incident.
    My hope is that the investigators are able to glean the truth.
    Sad to read about another “incident” of violence in Hoopa and Weitchpec.
    The area near the Yurok Offices has seen far too many violent deaths right there on the highway.
    Loss of life is always harsh and painful regardless of who the deceased is, or where she or he came from.
    May the officer involved and his family be given much wisdom in how to face the coming hours and days and may the family of the wounded man and the deceased man find comfort in their loss.
    Far too much loss of life due to violence, drug/booze addiction and deeply wounded folks.

  • Its heartbreaking that mothers lost there babies! If seth would of chosen different Dwight would still be with his family. He chose to taser him in the water and yes Dwight didn’t make the smartest choice but he died and his family mourns for him as so do his friends who loved him. And I’ve known the kids who was killed, I will forever miss his smile and laugh. I cherish the memories I had with him. Both of them. They made poor decisions. But neither deserved to die. If seth is gun happy then everyone in hoops should protest

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