Two weeks after a man was shot and killed on Keener Road, Sampson County Sheriff’s authorities widely disseminated a poster of the suspect wanted in the murder in hopes of receiving information that could lead to an arrest.
Sheriff’s investigators have warrants on file on Jorge Alexander Ruiz, 26, for the Aug. 14 murder of a man whose name still has not been released. The murder took place on Keener Road and authorities said Ruiz should be considered armed and dangerous. Upon releasing the wanted poster, Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Pope said it was investigators’ belief that Ruiz was still in the region.
“We keep getting whispers that he’s still around here,” said Pope this week.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Aug. 14, sheriff’s deputies responded to a gunshot victim at 6370 Keener Road, Clinton. Upon arrival, they discovered a male victim who they say had succumbed to a gunshot wound and began collecting evidence. Two days later, sheriff’s authorities released general details of the homicide as well as Ruiz’s name and photo, describing him as a key suspect in the case.
Ruiz is approximately 5 foot, 3 inches tall, weighing 172 pounds, with a muscular build, black hair and brown eyes. He has a scar on his forehead. He was last seen in the area of Keener Road when the shooting occurred. Sheriff’s officials said the victim was identified as a Hispanic male from Clinton, “whose name is being withheld at this time to protect the integrity of the investigation.”
In the wake of the murder, sheriff’s authorities said they were looking for information regarding Ruiz’s whereabouts or any tip that could lead to his apprehension. They echoed that this week, calling on the public to help.
Limited details have been released on the homicide investigation, which is ongoing. The amount of shots fired and type of weapon used, as well as a motive behind the shooting and other details, have been kept close to the vest. Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith noted in the days following the homicide that Ruiz had been in trouble with deputies before, noting “minor charges” and some jail time in Sampson County previously. A search for Ruiz in the N.C. Department of Public Safety database yielded no prior convictions.
Anyone with information they believe is pertinent to the investigation or about the suspect’s potential whereabouts is encouraged to contact investigators at the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, at 910-592-4141, the Crime Tip Line at 910-564-5261 or their local law enforcement agency.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.