Man killed by police after mask dispute at Michigan store
A Michigan sheriff’s deputy on Tuesday fatally shot a man suspected of stabbing another man who had challenged him about not wearing a mask at a convenience store, police said.
The shooting occurred in Eaton County, southwest of Lansing, about 30 minutes after the stabbing at a Quality Dairy store, state police Lt. Brian Oleksyk said.
A sheriff’s deputy spotted the man’s vehicle in a residential neighborhood and shot him when he got out of his car and tried to attack her, Oleksyk said.
the deputy with a knife in hand to attack the deputy. The deputy attempted to increase distance by backing up and subsequently shot and injured the suspect. The suspect was transported to a local hospital and died during surgery. The suspect has been identified as pic.twitter.com/gEoieOhjkp— MSP First District (@MSPFirstDist) July 14, 2020
The man, Sean Ruis, was holding a screwdriver and knives, Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich said.
"It’s very unfortunate she had to use her weapon, but she had to save her life," Reich said. "She had to use deadly force. She did it properly."
Ruis, 43, of Grand Ledge, who worked at the Michigan Department of Transportation, died at a hospital. He was suspected of stabbing a 77-year-old man inside the store when he was confronted about not wearing a mask, Oleksyk said.
The stabbing victim was in stable condition at a hospital. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered people to wear masks in stores to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
"The goal here is to be safe. We all have to do our part so this doesn’t spread," Reich said.
The decision about whether to wear a mask in public for some has become a political statement, and there have been other instances of violent encounters over masks. In May, a security guard at a Family Dollar store in Flint was fatally shot after denying entry to a customer without a mask.
WARNING: The video below shows the officer-involved shooting recounted above. The video is graphic and should not be viewed by everyone.
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