A dispute over a face mask on Tuesday led to the stabbing of a 77-year-old man and the fatal police shooting of the suspect in that incident on a public street outside Lansing, Michigan.
Police said that Sean Ruis, 43, entered the Windsor Township Quality Dairy store without a mask as required by state order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and was refused service. Ruis got into an argument with the elderly man — who was wearing a mask — over the face mask policy, stabbed him, and fled in a car, witnesses said, according to WOOD.
About 30 minutes later, an Eaton County Sheriff’s deputy spotted the car in Delta Township and attempted a traffic stop. As seen on her body camera and security footage from a nearby house, Ruis got out of the car with two knives and a screwdriver and approached the officer, ignoring her calls to “drop the weapon” as she backed away. When he charged at her — at one point with his hand over her service weapon — she opened fire.
Ruis, an employee with the Michigan Department of Transportation, was taken to a hospital and died in surgery, the Detroit News said.
Police have not released the name of the 22-year veteran of the sheriff’s department but said she had been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation by Michigan State Police.
VIDEO IS SENSITIVE IN NATURE: Eaton County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Involved Shooting. The Michigan State Police 1st District Investigation Response Team is investigating the deputy involved shooting that occurred on Jerryson Drive in Delta Twp, Eaton County on July 14. pic.twitter.com/733H2iOhCa
— MSP First District (@MSPFirstDist) July 14, 2020
The sheriff’s office released the deputy’s body camera footage, and state police released the home security video. Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich said the video makes clear the deputy “was in fact in fear of her life.”
“It’s very unfortunate that she had to use her weapon but she saved her life; that’s the most important thing right here,” Reich said. “She had to use deadly force, and she did it properly, and I’m glad she wasn’t harmed in any way.”
The 77-year-old man who was stabbed was taken to the hospital in serious condition and was reported to be in stable condition on Wednesday.
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[Featured image: Screenshot from Eaton County Sheriff’s Office video]