The scene where a 77-year-old man was allegedly stabbed by a 43-year-old man, July 14, 2020, outside of a Quality Dairy on Lansing Road in Windsor Township, Michigan.
Matthew Dae Smith—Lansing State Journal/AP
July 14, 2020 3:12 PM EDT

(GRAND LEDGE, Mich.) — A Michigan sheriff’s deputy on Tuesday fatally shot a man suspected of stabbing another man who had challenged him about not wearing a mask at a convenience store, police said.

The shooting occurred in Eaton County, southwest of Lansing, about 30 minutes after the stabbing at a Quality Dairy store, state police Lt. Brian Oleksyk said.

A sheriff’s deputy spotted the man’s vehicle in a residential neighborhood and shot him when he tried to attack her with a knife, Oleksyk said.

Sean Ruis, 43, of Grand Ledge, who worked at the Michigan Department of Transportation, died at a hospital. He was suspected of stabbing a 77-year-old man inside the store when he was confronted about not wearing a mask, Oleksyk said.

The stabbing victim was in stable condition at a hospital. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered people to wear masks in stores to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

The decision about whether to wear a mask in public for some has become a political statement, and there have been other instances of violent encounters over masks. In May, a security guard at a Family Dollar store in Flint was fatally shot after denying entry to a customer without a mask.

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