Family of man arrested says he had nothing to do with cop who was killed

Family: Joe Ruiz arrested prior to shooting

LAKEWOOD, Colo. - Family members say a man in police custody is being portrayed unfairly. The man owns the home where an officer was killed by friendly fire.

Lakewood police officer James Davies, 35, was shot and killed by another officer after responding to a disturbance at Joe Ruiz's home.  

Neighbors and family members said Ruiz was taken into custody by police several minutes before the officer was shot and killed.

"He had nothing to do with it," said Robert Marin, who said he is the cousin of Ruiz's wife.

Marin said Ruiz is being unfairly portrayed as the person responsible for the officer's death.

"It just so happened that it happened at his house," said Marin.  "He was already in custody when this incident happened. That's what rubs me the wrong way about this whole incident."

Neighbors Esther and Patrick Flannigan said their neighbor, Ruiz, was taken into custody as much as a half hour before Officer Davies was killed.

Esther was at home with their two boys.  Patrick was at work, but was on the phone with a police dispatcher.

"And he said the suspects are detained. So, I called my wife and said, 'Everything's good.'  And she said, 'Then why are there five or more police officers with machine guns still in our front yard?'" said Patrick.

"I feel confused as to why it happened the way it did," said Esther. "After Joe had supposedly been arrested, that's when I heard three shots fired. And it was so close that you could see flashes from the shooting."

Lakewood police still aren't saying what went wrong, and no new information about the shooting was released Monday. But, Ruiz's family is demanding answers and they have now hired attorney Stanley Marks to help with their case.

"His name is being drug through the mud," said Marin. "He's not a cop killer. He's a law-abiding family man. An honest citizen. He's owned that house for seven years and he provides for my cousin and his family."

Ruiz is facing two felony charges in the case for possession of a weapon by a previous offender and tampering with physical evidence, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney's office.

 

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