Michigan face mask row ends in fatal police shooting

Grab from footage released by Michigan State Police, 14 JulyImage copyright
Michigan State Police

Image caption

Michigan State Police released security footage showing the confrontation between the officer and the suspect

A police officer in the US state of Michigan has shot dead a man suspected of stabbing a customer in a shop, in an altercation over face masks.

Police say the incident began in a convenience store near Lansing, where the suspect – named as Sean Ruis – attacked a 77-year-old man who had challenged him for not wearing a mask.

They say Ruis fled the scene in a car.

He was later pulled over by a female deputy sheriff, who opened fire when Ruis lunged towards her.

Michigan State Police released footage of the confrontation in a residential area in the Lansing suburb of Delta early on Tuesday.

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It shows the police car stopping a vehicle and the driver, identified as Ruis, advancing on the deputy who shoots him after a brief tussle.

Police say Ruis, 43, was carrying a weapon. He was taken to hospital, where he was declared dead.

The incident happened 30 minutes after Ruis allegedly stabbed a customer at the Quality Dairy store in Dimondale, about six miles (10km) to the south.

The row is said to have begun when the 77-year-old – who was wearing a face mask – chided Ruis for not doing so. The elderly man is in hospital and said to be in a stable condition.

It is not the first dispute over face masks to end in tragedy in the US.

Last week a security guard in Gardena, south of Los Angeles, was charged with murder over the shooting of a customer who had entered a shop without a face mask.

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