November 9, 2021: While patrolling South I-25 Saturday evening, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputy Kayla Ruiz noticed a weaving vehicle travelling northbound. As Ruiz got closer, a woman in the passenger seat began motioning for help. Ruiz attempted to pull the vehicle over but it didn’t stop. Instead it sped up while the same passenger appeared to open the door, trying to jump from the moving car. Initially disregarding the lights and siren of the patrol car, the driver continued on a short distance then stopped abuptly. Both doors opened, a man got out of the driver’s door as the woman ran from the passenger side. The empty-handed male began walking toward Deputy Ruiz, yelling “Just shoot me, Just shoot me. I’m not going back to jail!”
Deputy Ruiz pulled her taser as the man approached. She continued to order him to the ground but he ignored her commands and she deployed her taser. Deputy Ruiz was able to use less-than-lethal measures to subdue the suspect and take him into custody.
The victim told Ruiz, the man was her husband and there were two small children in the car. She said moments before Ruiz spotted them, she had wrestled a loaded handgun from the man and threw it out the car window. She said he had hit her in the face with the gun and threatened to use it to kill them both. The 42-year-old suspect was booked into Pueblo County Detention Center on several felony charges, including Domestic Violence, Menacing with a Deadly Weapon, 2nd Degree Assault, and Vehicular Eluding. At daybreak, deputies searched the area with K-9 and safely recovered the loaded firearm.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor commends Deputy Ruiz for her alertness, focus, and bravery. “There were a dozen ways this deputy’s actions ensured a peaceful resolution to this situation. Every day across the US, we see these situations end with the death of an officer or a suspect, but not on this day and that is because of Deputy Ruiz.”
In addition to Ruiz’ bravery, Sheriff Taylor recognized the woman, whose determination to protect herself and the children was evidenced both during her motioning for help to passing cars and in the physical struggle for a loaded weapon.
“If the suspect had been holding a gun, procedure would have dictated a deadly weapon come out of Ruiz’s holster” says Taylor, “We don’t reveal the name of a Domestic Violence victim, but it is certainly worth mentioning her bravery potentially saved her and the children, and possibly the life of either the suspect or our deputy.”
If you or someone you love is struggling with domestic violence, call Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Victims Advocacy Group, ACOVA for help anytime of the day or night. Dial 719-583-6250 and ask for a callback from ACOVA. If you witness in-progress domestic violence Call or Text 911 as soon as possible.