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Man killed by police after mask dispute at Michigan store

Police at the scene of the stabbing.
Michigan State Police

Updated July 14 at 4:52 p.m.

One man is dead and another is hospitalized after an argument over wearing a face mask at a mid-Michigan convenience store.

Tuesday morning, a man refusing to wear a mask stabbed a mask-wearing man in the store parking lot, just south of Lansing.

A short time later, an Eaton County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed 43-year-old Sean Ruis as he came at her with a knife and screwdriver.

The chain of events left Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich at a loss for words.

“This is the first one I’ve heard in Eaton County — especially going to this extreme — of an individual being stabbed over ‘why aren’t you wearing a mask' or whatever that question was.”

The Michigan State Police are investigating. The 77-year-old stabbing victim was taken to a local hospital and is alive, according to the MSP First District Twitter feed.

Reich urged people to abide by the governor’s executive order to wear a mask when indoors or outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

“Wear your mask. I wear a mask. My deputies wears masks. We all have to be safe. We all have to do our part. So this doesn’t spread,"he said.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order requiring people to wear masks took effect Monday.

Original Post, July 14 at 12:51 p.m.

Police say a Grand Ledge man was fatally shot by a Michigan sheriff's deputy after stabbing another man who had challenged him about not wearing a mask at a store.

The shooting occurred in Eaton County about 30 minutes after the stabbing outside a Quality Dairy store.

State police say a sheriff's deputy spotted the man's vehicle and shot him when he tried to attack her with his knife. The 43-year-old man died at a hospital. The 77-year-old stabbing victim is in stable condition. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered people to wear masks in stores and crowded outdoor spaces to reduce the risk of the coronavirus. Those who fail to do so may be subject to a $500 fine.

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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