PHOENIX – A three-year veteran of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has fallen into a coma after the death of a suspect, the agency said on Monday.
Juan Ruiz was on life support in a hospital after the assault on Saturday morning. He never regained consciousness and his organs will be donated, Sheriff Paul Penzone told a press conference.
“MP Ruiz proudly served this community with courage and conviction, Penzone noted. “His loss is a tragedy for our profession and our community.
“We have great appreciation for his service and pray for his family during this unimaginable sacrifice and loss.”
The sheriff said Ruiz was found knocked out and bleeding in a holding cell at a substation near Dysart Road and Van Buren Street in Avondale.
Clinton Robert Hurley, 30, is accused of subduing Ruiz and taking the deputy’s vehicle to escape, having crashed through a door, Penzone said.
Hurley was eventually gunned down by an owner near Tonopah on Saturday and was hospitalized in critical condition, but has since been upgraded to a stable.
A manhunt for Hurley, who was the subject of multiple felony arrest warrants when he escaped, began around 11 hours after Ruiz was found.
Governor Doug Ducey ordered flags at half mast from sunrise to sunset on Tuesday to honor Ruiz.