UPDATED 9:08 AM PT – Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Law enforcement in Arizona are mourning the loss of one of their own in the line of duty. An officer succumbed to his injuries after being attacked by a suspect he was trying to book into jail.
In a press conference Monday, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said Deputy Juan Miguel Ruiz was on life support. He later passed away and his family plans to donate his organs.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the passing of Deputy Juan “Johnny” Ruiz #S2212. He succumbed to the injuries sustained on Saturday at the hands of a violent predator.
Deputy Ruiz proudly served this community with courage and conviction.
— Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (@mcsoaz) October 11, 2021
Over the weekend, authorities said Ruiz responded to calls about a suspicious person roaming around a local neighborhood. Once apprehended, the deputy began processing the suspect, identified as 30-year-old Clinton Hurley, for felony warrants at a sheriff’s facility when he was knocked unconscious.
“Deputy Ruiz brought Hurley into the holding area as a standard process of protocol,” explained Sherriff Penzone. “He removed his handcuffs and attempted putting him into one of the holding cells. It was at that time that he was initially passive resistant and turned on the deputy and a fight ensured…the suspect beat him unconscious.”
Hurley then allegedly fled the scene in the deputy’s SUV before abandoning the vehicle and stealing another car. He was later shot by a homeowner after he allegedly tried to break into the man’s home. Authorities found Hurley with a gunshot wound hours later and transported him to a hospital, where he’s in stable condition.
“When our deputies realized as they were there rendering aid to him, they realized after seeing the tattoos and getting a good look at him that he was the suspect in the attack on deputy Ruiz,” Sherriff Penzone continued.
The Maricopa County official said he hopes the community has gained a deeper understanding of the dangers the men and women in uniform face everyday.
“Deputy Ruiz’s family needs more than your prayers, they need to know that you care that men and women put on badges and uniforms and sacrifice their lives,” said Sherriff Penzone.
More charges are expected to be filed against Hurley.