Family members and the long-time girlfriend of a Marine who was fatally shot during an armed robber at a Lancaster convenience store issued emotional pleas Tuesday for help in finding the killers.
They spoke at a news conference to announce a $30,000 reward for information leading to the killers of Marine Corps veteran John Ruh, who was working as a cashier when two robbers entered the store last month.
Michelle Brace, Ruh's girlfriend, said the family is devastated.
"He left five other children and five other grandchildren that he helped raise," said Brace. "He was a good man. He was loving and caring. Everybody that he met liked him. If you have any information, pass it along."
The 61-year-old Ruh, of Lancaster died at the scene of the shooting, which occurred about 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 19 in the 44400 block of Division Street. Ruh was working as a cashier when the business was robbed by two men, one of whom shot him in the chest before running from the store.
No suspect descriptions have been released. Authorities also provided security camera images of Rhu's attackers, who can be seen wearing hooded sweaters or sweatshirts. Authorities said there was an exchange between Rhu and the robbers before the shooting, but the department did not provided details regarding the nature of the conversation.
"I don't want to see them die either," Brace said of the killers. "I don't want to see their parents have to go through something like this. In my heart, for my own peace of mind, I have to forgive them. But they have to be caught, right? Otherwise there is no peace."
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Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger had earlier announced that a $20,000 reward was posted for information that helps investigators solve the killing and bring the perpetrators to justice. The city of Lancaster has added another $10,000 to the reward total.
Brace said Ruh was well off and could have stopped working, but he still got up at 4 a.m. to work at the store. She had asked him to quit working after previous robbery attempts at the business.
"He was well-known and loved by the community," said Lt. Joe Mendoza, of the LA County Sheriff's Department.
Anyone with information about the killing was urged to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477, or send an email to lacrimestoppers.org.
"Nobody deserves to die the way he did," said sister Teresa Vail. "We need to find whoever is responsible, and we need to get justice. We need to know that they are being taken off the street. My brother (needs) that peace. I need that peace."