Sheriff: Armed man fatally shot by Oakland Co. deputy - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Sheriff: Armed man fatally shot by Oakland Co. deputy in Independence Twp.

Posted: Updated:

By Amy Lange
Fox 2 News


INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) -- "The door went up.  He turned around, made threatening comments, brandished the knife and came right at her," explained Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.

The sheriff said his 31-year-old deputy, an eight-and-a-half year veteran with the department, had no choice.  A man with a switchblade was coming at her and her partner at a home on Rattalee Lake and Allen roads in Independence Township.

"A situation where you're threatened with your life and death, you know, you have to protect yourself," Bouchard remarked.  "That's what this deputy was facing."

According to investigators, Sunday afternoon the 35-year-old homeowner barricaded herself in the bathroom and called 9-1-1 after her live-in boyfriend threatened her with a knife for hiding his cigarettes.  She said Jeremy Rucinski had been agitated for days and was on medication.  When sheriff's deputies arrived, the 38-year-old man with the knife was in the garage.  While two deputies went inside the house, two were outside when Bouchard said Rucinski opened the garage door and came at the two female deputies with the four inch blade.

"In a threatening manner was saying things threatening to the deputies, something to the effect of 'bring it on.'"

The sheriff explained one deputy, the farthest from Rucinski, tried to tase him.  The other deputy, just six to ten feet away, fired her weapon.  He was hit once in the chest and died.

"This individual was in six to ten feet.  The basic rule of thumb is 21 feet and you're in danger.  You're personally in life threatening danger if they're closer than 21 feet with an edged weapon."

The deputy is now on paid leave while the investigation continues.

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