‘Innocent bystander’ dies after being stabbed by Michigan state employee amid mask dispute
Sean Ruiz shot by Michigan deputy

A Michigan man died from stab wounds suffered last month during a violent dispute over face coverings.


John Duncan III had remained in critical condition until his death Saturday, following an argument July 14 with a man who refused to wear a mask inside Quality Dairy in Lansing, reported the Lansing State Journal.

The 77-year-old Duncan was stabbed early that morning by 43-year-old Sean Ruis, of Grand Ledge, after an employee confronted him for refusing to follow a mandate imposed the day before by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer requiring masks inside all businesses in the state.

Michigan State Police initially reported that Duncan had confronted Ruis about the mandate, but company officials described the older man as an "innocent bystander" between the assailant and a store employee.

Duncan was wearing a mask and Ruis was not.

Ruis stabbed Duncan repeatedly in the neck and fled the store, and Eaton County sheriff's deputy stopped him about a half hour later in Delta Township.

The assailant got out of his vehicle holding two knives and a screwdriver, according to body camera video, and the deputy shot him as he approached and attempted to grab her weapon.

Ruis, who worked for the Michigan Department of Transportation, later died during surgery for his gunshot wounds.