Suspected of driving a stolen Lexington Jeep, man dies after confronting officer

A Frankfort man who was seen driving a Jeep stolen from Lexington died Monday in a western Kentucky shooting involving a state trooper, according to Kentucky State Police.

Sheriff’s deputies in Daviess County were called to a farm off Hill Bridge Road at about 4:30 p.m. for a report of a person doing doughnuts in a black Jeep Grand Cherokee, according to state police.

When deputies and a state trooper arrived, Rueben T. Ruffin Jr., 24, ran from the house on the property, got in the Jeep and drove away “aggressively,” throwing mud onto a deputy, according to state police. Ruffin drove about a half-mile before crashing into a ditch and fleeing on foot.

Trooper Blake Owens, 27, of Owensboro used a farm access road near the crashed jeep and found Ruffin, who had a pistol in his hand, according to state police. Owens told Ruffin to drop his gun, but he approached Owens and pointed the gun at him, state police reported.

Owens fired his department-issued rifle, striking Ruffin, according to state police. The trooper and deputies tried to help the man as they waited for paramedics and escorted the ambulance to the hospital.

Ruffin died of two gunshot wounds, according to state police.

State police reported Tuesday that Ruffin had a stolen handgun and that the stolen Jeep was removed from the Hill Bridge Road scene to be processed.

Owens has been placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with state police protocol. He is a two and a half year state police veteran.