"He was my best friend." Elias Ruiz's Close Friend Speaks Out

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Sun, January 22 2012 at 11:18 PM, Updated: Sun, January 22 2012 at 11:43 PM

Tonight Ruthbicela Rosales is without her best friend.  

"He was my best friend [...] He was a loving kid, he had some issues, but doesn't everybody?" said Rosales of her good friend Elias Ruiz.

Rosales said she'd known 18-year-old Elias Ruiz for about 4 years. Then Sunday night, she found out the news that she didn't want to believe.

"My cousin called me and she was all like Elias was shot," said Rosales. She continued, "I wanted to come and see if it was really true."

Ruiz was shot and killed around 2:30 Sunday afternoon.

Police said they responded to a domestic dispute call in West Medford and when they arrived on scene, they said Ruiz came at them with a butcher-type knife.

That's when authorities said they used a taser. When that didn't work, they said they resorted to deadly force and shot him.

"Do you really think they had to use that type of force?," asked Rosales.

Rosales, the young woman who called Ruiz her best friend, said he was involved with gangs, but was trying to turn over a new leaf. She and her family were trying to help him.

"He said he wanted to change," said Rosales.

"[We] let him sleep in the house when he needed it, we fed him, he was a part of our family," she continued.

While Rosales said Ruiz talked to her frequently, he never said anything about suicidal thoughts. But she wishes he had reached out to her.

"It's heartbreaking. I would at least want to talk to him, hug him one more time. But I didn't get the chance," said Rosales.

 

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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