Toxicology report on Elias Ruiz called ‘surprising’ because of his actions before fatal Medford incident
A toxicology report performed on Elias Angel Ruiz showed the 18-year-old was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when police shot him dead on Jan. 22 after he charged them with a knife in his hand.
Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said the results were surprising, considering Ruiz’s highly agitated state before the shooting.
“He was acting very much like someone who would be under the influence of some intoxicant,” Budreau said.
Ruiz was shot in front of his home in the 800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue after he threatened members of his family.
Police were called to the home after dispatch received a 911 call from the residence in which the caller hung up after a dispatcher heard a voice in the background yelling, “Help, help.”
The dispatcher eventually called back and spoke with an Alejandra Ruiz, who said her son had armed himself with a knife and was destroying items inside the home.
She also said that, before locking himself in a room, Ruiz said he wanted to stab himself. Police said she told them that he had struck his head several times with a picture frame.
Medford police officers Jason Antley and Brian Hall arrived on the scene and attempted to coax Ruiz out of the house and place him in custody.
However, Ruiz suddenly flung open the door and charged the officers with a large knife in his hand.
Antley stumbled and fell, but not before firing the fatal rounds that struck Ruiz in the left armpit, left bicep, twice in the upper left leg and once at the base of the neck.
Investigators found a second knife in Ruiz’s pants pocket and later found a “butterfly knife” in another pocket. The knife he had in his hands during the incident had an 8-inch blade.
Ruiz also was wearing a bulletproof vest under his shirt at the time of the shooting.
A grand jury later determined the officers were justified in using deadly force against Ruiz.
Budreau said Ruiz was most likely suffering from some sort of mental breakdown in the moments leading up to the shooting.
“We can’t say for sure what was going on with him because of how the incident ended,” Budreau said.
Budreau said the department handles several mental health calls each day.
Medford police records show officers answered 370 mental health calls in 2011, up from 196 in 2010.
“Mental health issues keep us busy every year,” Budreau said.
Mail Tribune: Unanswered questions, grief after shooting