A Michigan man refused the service for not having a worm in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic early on Tuesday morning, stabbed another customer before he was shot to death by a sheriff’s deputy, police say.
Sean Ernest Ruis, 43, walked into Quality Dairy in Windsor Township – just outside Lansing and 100 miles west of Detroit – about 6:45 a.m. without a mask.
A 77-year-old customer asked Ruis to cover his face and the store refused service before asking him to leave, Michigan State Police said in a statement. He then pulled the customer who asked him to put on a mask, authorities said.
An Eaton County Sheriff’s deputy pulled over Ruis on a residential street in nearby Delta Township at 7:13 a.m., leading to the brief, fatal meeting the official said.
“The suspect immediately leaves his vehicle and walks towards the deputy with a knife in his hand to attack the assistant,” according to a statement from the state police. “Assistants tried to increase the distance by backing up and then shot and injured the suspect. The suspect was transported to a local hospital and died during surgery.”
Both the Eaton County Sheriff’s Department and state police released a graphic video of the deadly confrontation, which appeared to show a man approaching the deputy. The deputies could be heard shouting “Drop the knife!” and “Drop the weapon!” several times in the pictures.
The sheriff’s 10-second video appeared to be from the deputy’s body camera and she could be seen backing up as she ordered “Drop the gun, drop the gun!”
The deputies seemed to shoot several times at the man, who continued to approach despite being shot.
The sheriff also released a picture that appeared to show the man with a stabbing weapon in each hand.
“She backed away from him while repeatedly ordering him to drop the weapon, but he continued to advance and attack and she acted to defend her life,” according to a sheriff’s statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers are for the full recovery of the victim who was stabbed at the quality dairy and for his family, and are with our deputy who was subsequently violently attacked. They are also with the family of Mr. Ruis who was killed in this meaningless, tragic event.”
The commander has been placed on administrative leave as standard practice in an officer-involved shooting, according to the department.
Ruis lived in the nearby Grand Ledge and the Eaton County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately identify its deputy – although state police called her a 22 1/2-year veteran of the force.
She was not injured in the confrontation.
The man who was stabbed in the store was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive.
Tuesday was the second day of a state order, in light of the ongoing pandemic, making facial coatings mandatory in any indoor or outdoor setting in Michigan where proper social distance cannot be maintained.
Ali Gostanian contributed.