Police are looking for a man they say shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, 35-year-old Karen Ruiz, in front of their 3-year-old daughter in a horrifying murder that was caught on surveillance video. The Los Angeles Police Department said in a press release that LAPD officers responded to a residence on Bartee Avenue on January 6, 2021, at 9:35 a.m. following reports of a shooting.
Responding officers found a Hispanic woman, Ruiz, who had “sustained multiple gunshot wounds.” Paramedics declared her dead at the scene. According to the press release, investigators found that her ex-boyfriend and father of the young girl, 46-year-old Herbert Nixon Flores, had shot the victim several times with a semi-automatic handgun and fled the scene.
Flores is described as “a 46-year-old Hispanic male with black hair and brown eyes.” The suspect is 6 feet 1 inch and weighs about 220 pounds, police said. The statement continued, “Herbert Nixon Flores is considered armed and dangerous and, if seen, the public is urged to not confront [or] attempt to apprehend him but to contact law enforcement immediately.”
The LAPD is urging anyone with information about the case to contact Valley Bureau Homicide Detectives, Detective Sharon Kim at 818-374-9550 or L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).
The Incident Was Captured on Surveillance Video & Police Said Ruiz’s 3-Year-Old Was Present
The LAPD’s press release was updated to indicate that Flores shot Ruiz “in the presence of their young child.” It also shared a surveillance video of the shooting, available here. The video showed Ruiz getting out of a vehicle and screaming as she ran away from Flores, who pulled up behind her vehicle. Flores then fired several shots, fatally striking his ex-girlfriend. He ran back to his car, a gray sedan, and left the scene.
Police said Flores is Ruiz’s ex-boyfriend and the two had a 3-year-old girl together. Authorities said Ruiz was driving their daughter to a babysitter’s house when Flores followed her and attacked her, ABC7 reported. The 3-year-old girl witnessed the murder, police said, and she can be heard crying in the video of the incident. Authorities told KTLA5 that the 3-year-old is safe and in the custody of family members.
The FBI is supporting the LAPD in the search for Flores, the outlet reported. According to investigators, Flores is an MS-13 gang member.
Police Said Flores Is an MS-13 Gang Member & Threatened Ruiz for Months
According to KTLA5, Flores and Ruiz had broken up recently and Ruiz had a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend. The two had a violent relationship, LAPD Detective Sharon Kim told the outlet: “The relationship was violent. She had several reports made against him over the years and most recently she took out a restraining order against him due to some violent acts he committed against her.”
Kim also said that Flores is considered “armed and dangerous” and has a violent criminal history as an MS-13 gang member, KTLA5 wrote. Authorities said Flores had been stalking Ruiz and making threats for months before the fatal incident. NBC4 reported that Ruiz’s family is “devastated” and they worry there could be retaliation.