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Allegedly drunken man shot while trying to take gun from police at traffic checkpoint

Posted: Monday, May 2, 2022. 11:50 am CST.

By BBN Staff: One man was shot during a struggle with police at a vehicle checkpoint on the Southern Highway at the Monkey River Junction after the driver and his passengers, who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, tried to resist a breathalyzer test and police detention.

According to police, traffic wardens attached to Punta Gorga Town were conducting the checkpoint when a Dodge Ram pickup truck driven at the time by Wilmer Ruiz approached the checkpoint at around 5:10 p.m. Upon requesting Ruiz’s driver’s license the traffic wardens noticed the strong smell of alcohol coming from the vehicle in addition to the truck’s license being expired. Ruiz was asked to pull over to the shoulder of the road and exit the vehicle for a breathalyzer test to be administered.

Ruiz was escorted over to the traffic department vehicle for the breathalyzer test to be conducted when his passengers, Alex Ruiz and Edbin Ruiz, exited the vehicle and reportedly “staggered” over to the wardens in a threatening manner as if they wanted to fight. The wardens had requested police assistance in the matter and when police arrived, cops informed the driver that he was being detained. While putting handcuffs on Ruiz, the two passengers reportedly attacked police in an attempt to stop Ruiz from being apprehended.

Police say PC Gerson Jones then took out his police service firearm and fired a warning shot in the air to deter Alex Ruiz from advancing toward him but he did not stop. Jones then reportedly fired another warning shot in the air but Ruiz continued advancing resulting in a struggle between the two men. The gun reportedly went off three times during the struggle and Alex Ruiz received gunshot wounds to the body.

Alex Ruiz was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital where he is listed in stable condition. The other men were detained pending investigation. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has since ordered an internal and criminal investigation into the matter.


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