Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Wesley Ruiz

Wesley Ruiz
Wesley Ruiz
Executed on 1 February 2023

Wesley Lynn Ruiz, 43, was executed by lethal injection on 1 February 2023 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of a police officer he attempted to flee from.

On 21 March 2007, the homicide division of the Dallas Police Department issued a bulletin to its officers to be on the lookout for a 1996 red and gray four-door Chevrolet Caprice with dark tinted windows and chrome wheels. This vehicle was suspected to have been involved in a capital murder.

Two days later, on Friday, 23 March, two plainclothes officers in an unmarked vehicle spotted a car matching this description on Stemmons Freeway. They summoned marked patrol cars to stop it and followed it as it exited the freeway. Corporal Mark Nix arrived first. He positioned his patrol car directly behind the Caprice and activated his overhead lights. Footage from his dashcam and from another patrol car was presented in court. The Caprice momentarily braked as if to pull over, but then suddenly raced off down the winding road. Nix and at least one other patrol car followed in hot pursuit.

The driver of the Caprice lost control of his vehicle. It spun around, rolled down a slope, and came to rest facing the roadway, blocked from behind by a fence. Nix followed the Caprice down the slope and pulled to a stop, directly hood-to-hood. The patrol car behind Nix came to a halt on the passenger side of the Caprice, close enough to box it in. Nix, 30, then jumped out of his vehicle and rushed to the front passenger side of the Caprice. As the other officers on the scene would later testify, all of the windows were so darkly tinted that they could barely make out a silhouette behind the wheel. Holding his pistol in his right hand, Nix began to swing his baton at the front passenger window with his left hand. He paused momentarily to place his pistol on the ground so that he could use both hands to wield the baton. He then continued striking the window and punched a small hole through it. A second later, a gunshot from within the Caprice shattered the rear passenger window. The bullet struck Nix's badge and splintered. A fragment entered his chest and severed his left carotid artery. The other officers responded with a hail of gunfire.

A SWAT team was summoned. Ruiz, then 27, was eventually removed from the driver's seat of the Caprice, wounded and unconscious. He was the only occupant of the vehicle, and the weapon used to shoot Nix was in his lap. Nix was pronounced dead at the hospital.

A court document summarizing the case said the murder weapon was a pistol. A recent news article said it was an AR-15 rifle and that Ruiz continued firing at other officers after Nix was down.

It turned out that the Chevy Caprice Ruiz was driving, while it did match the description given in the "be on the lookout" bulletin, was not the one being sought in the unrelated capital murder investigation.

In Texas, murder of a police officer who is acting in the line of duty, when the person knows the victim is a police officer, is a capital offense. The defense argued that Nix was not acting in the line of duty because Dallas Police Department policy requires officers to use their vehicles' loudspeakers to order felony suspects out of their vehicles, whereas Nix instead rushed the penned-in Caprice and aggressively bashed at the window. The court ruled that whether or not Nix was making an improper or even illegal arrest did not change the fact that he was a police officer who was acting in the line of duty.

Ruiz testified that he thought Nix was firing gunshots at him.

Ruiz had prior convictions for drug possession.

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