SBI takes the lead on officer-related shooting from earlier in week

WILMINGTON — According to a release, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has taken over the case involving a string of odd incidents that led to the arrest and hospitalization of John Ryan Rukosky. The SBI stepped in at the request of the Wilmington Police Department, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office.  

The string of events started around 2 p.m. on Aug. 4 when 33-year-old Rukosky attempted to access a secure area at the fixed-base operator Modern Aviation on the campus of the Wilmington International Airport (ILM). Staff had to ask him to leave.

A few hours later, and without knowledge of the earlier incident at ILM, police attempted to pull over the suspect for a traffic violation. Rukosky drove away from the officers; due to heavy traffic, police said they let it go, according to a release. However, Rukosky later pulled up behind WPD units and began to follow them.

A New Hanover County sheriff’s deputy was on foot patrolling nearby, at 4th and Grace streets, when Rukosky allegedly attempted to hit the officer with his car. Both WPD and NHSO shot at the suspect, hitting him at least once. Rukosky escaped the scene but was apprehended a few blocks up at McRae and Grace streets after hitting a WPD vehicle.

Rukosky was transported to the hospital and had to undergo surgery.

Wilmington Police Department officer Andrew Vrooman, 29, and New Hanover County sheriff’s deputy Stanley Taylor, 48, have been identified in the case and are on administrative leave per standard protocol.

WPD and NHSO have noted the incident is unrelated to recent shootings that have taken place.

The SBI investigation into the officer-involved shooting from Wednesday remains ongoing.  No additional information is available, according to the release.

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