Prosecutor: Eaton Co. deputy justified in shooting stabbing suspect

Michigan
A still photo from an incident where a sheriff's deputy shot a man suspected of stabbing another man in a dispute about masks on July 14, 2020. (Courtesy of the Eaton County Sheriff's Office)

A still photo from an incident where a sheriff’s deputy shot a man suspected of stabbing another man in a dispute about masks on July 14, 2020. (Courtesy of the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office)

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WOOD) — The Eaton County prosecutor says a sheriff’s deputy was justified when she shot and killed a man who had stabbed someone and was coming at her with a knife.

The Monday decision (PDF) from Prosecutor Douglas Lloyd means Deputy Theresa Vandorpe will not face charges in Sean Ruis’ July 14 death.

That morning, Ruis, 43, became upset after a worker at a Quality Dairy outside Lansing asked him to wear a mask in compliance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders. Ruis then stabbed 77-year-old bystander John Duncan III — who later died — and took off.

Vandorpe later came upon Ruis near his Grand Ledge home and pulled him over. Vandorpe’s body camera video shows Ruis approached her armed with a knife and a screwdriver. She told him to stop, but he didn’t and then slashed at her. She fired 10 shots, hitting him eight times and killing him.

The prosecutor said Vandorpe had reason to believe she was in danger when she opened fire, so her use of deadly force was lawful.

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