NR 23-15 Deputy Involved Shooting
On April 12, 2023, at approximately 10:00 p.m., the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Sunset Bay Apartments, located at 225 South Tropical Trail, Merritt Island, in reference to a suspicious person. The caller advised that a male was in the parking lot who appeared to be trying to get into parked vehicles. As deputies arrived on scene, the subject was observed in the driver’s seat of a pickup truck. As deputies approached the subject, he was recognized from previous service calls and was known to be in violation of an injunction for protection relating to a domestic violence incident. The deputies also were aware the victim of the domestic violence injunction resided at the same apartment complex. The subject ignored the deputy’s commands to stop and fled in the truck striking several parked vehicles. As the subject drove through the complex parking lot, he allegedly attempted to run down one of the deputies. A vehicle pursuit was initiated, however, deputies lost sight of the vehicle due to his high rate of speed.
The vehicle was observed a short time later in the area of I-95 and State Road 520. Deputies then attempted to stop the vehicle, at which time the subject fled by driving northbound in the southbound lane until he turned west onto S.R. 528 where the vehicle was disabled by deputies. As the deputies attempted to contact the subject, he allegedly discharged a firearm towards the deputies who responded to the deadly threat by discharging their firearms, neutralizing the threat. The subject was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The deceased subject has been identified as 36-year-old, Richard Ruiz of Merritt Island. The identities of the involved law enforcement personnel are not being released at this time.
As is customary in officer involved shootings, the deputies have been placed on paid Administrative Leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The investigation of this incident is ongoing and being conducted by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. Once complete, the investigative findings will be submitted to the Office of the State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit.
Additional updates and details will be provided as they become available.
For additional information concerning this News Release, please call PIO Tod Goodyear
of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office at 321-501-7594.