Sean Ruis was identified as the Michigan state worker who is accused of stabbing an elderly man in a dispute over masks in Dimondale. Ruis was then shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy.
Ruis fled the scene and was shot and killed by the female sheriff’s deputy after police say he advanced on her with weapons.
“Sean Ernest Ruis, a 43 year white male from Grand Ledge. The stabbing victim from Quaily Dairy was transported to a local hospital for his injuries…The female deputy is a 22 1/2 year veteran with Eaton County Sheriff’s Department and was not injured,” Michigan state police wrote on Twitter.
Police say Ruis was not wearing a mask when he got into an argument with the victim, who has not yet been identified. Conflicts have erupted over mask wearing throughout the country as COVID-19 numbers spike in some states. The stabbing victim is in stable condition at the hospital, AP reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Released a Graphic Video Showing the Officer-Involved Shooting
Police released a graphic video that they say shows Ruis lunging toward an officer with a knife before the officer opens fire multiple times, finally killing Ruis.
The video, which you can watch above, shows Ruis continue to advance toward the officer, who backs away and opens fire.
The shooting occurred near the officer’s squad car.
“She is retreating, ordering him to put his weapon, his knife down, backs up, and at that time defends herself from being attacked with that knife, and she shoots that suspect,” the sheriff said in a news conference. The officer hasn’t been identified.
2. Authorities Say That Ruis & the Victim Got Into an Argument Over Ruis Not Wearing a Mask Inside a Dairy Store
Michigan State police said in a news release that the argument sparked because Ruis was refused service for not wearing a mask inside a dairy store, and the victim and Ruis got into an argument over mask wearing.
“MSP Lansing Troopers and Eaton County Sheriff’s Department Deputies respond to Quality Dairy store in Windsor Twp, Eaton County on July 14 at 6:45 AM for a 911 call about a stabbing incident,” police wrote.
“Preliminary investigation shows that two customers were inside the store and an argument occurred between the two customers about one customer not wearing a mask inside the store. The customer not wearing a mask is also refused service by the store and at one point the customer not wearing a mask pulls out a knife and stabs a 77 year old white male from Lansing.”
“Drop the weapon! Drop the weapon!” the officer says in the video. Sheriff Tom Reich said in a news conference that the suspect was armed with both screwdrivers and a knife. “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.”
3. Ruis Fled the Dairy Store in a Car After the Stabbing, Police Say
After he stabbed the Lansing man, police say Ruis fled the scene in a car.
“A deputy with Eaton County Sheriff’s Department located the suspect vehicle and conducts a traffic stop on the vehicle on Jerryson Drive in Delta Twp, Eaton County at 7:13 AM. The suspect immediately exits his vehicle and walks towards 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.”
According to police, the suspect “was transported to a local hospital and died during surgery.”
4. Ruis Worked for the State of Michigan’s Department of Transportation
Ruis was a state worker, according to a payroll database. The Associated Press confirmed that he worked for the Michigan Department of Transportation.
“Sean E Ruis worked as a Transportation Technician for the State of Michigan and in 2018 had a reported pay of $55,299.88 according to public records,” Open Payrolls.com reported.
5. Mask Requirements Have Sparked Violence Throughout the Country
There have been other fatal incidents involving masks.
In Flint, Michigan, three people were accused of shooting a security guard to death when he wouldn’t let a woman enter a Family Dollar store without a face mask.
In California, a security guard was accused of murder after prosecutors “say he shot a 50-year-old man at a supermarket because he was not wearing a mask,” Fox News reported.