Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona
End of Watch Monday, October 11, 2021
Deputy Sheriff Johnny Ruiz succumbed to injuries sustained two days earlier when he was assaulted by a prisoner inside of the District 2 station at 920 E Van Buren Street in Avondale.
He and other deputies had arrested a subject who was wanted for violating parole. Deputy Ruiz transported the man to the district station to book him. As he removed the handcuffs to place him in a holding cell the man suddenly attacked him. A violent struggle ensued during which Deputy Ruiz unsuccessfully attempted to use his radio to request assistance. The subject beat Deputy Ruiz unconscious. He then stole Deputy Ruiz’s keys and used his patrol car to crash through the station’s gate as he fled.
Other deputies located Deputy Ruiz in the holding cell and transported him to a local hospital inside a patrol car.
The subject fled the area before stealing multiple other cars. Later in the day he drove to the home of a neighbor he had a disagreement with and tried to break in. The neighbor shot and wounded the man who was then taken into custody.
Deputy Ruiz never regained consciousness and was kept on life support until October 11th, 2021, so his organs could be donated.
Deputy Ruiz had served with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for three years.