Army spouse shoots soldier to prevent divorce

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A Fort Bliss woman allegedly shot her husband because she would rather have him “dead than divorced,” according to court documents.

Arely Brigette Ruiz took her husband Luis Manuel Beltran to William Beaumont Army Medical Center on Jan. 16 and told the medical staff that Beltran had shot himself at their home in the 3000 block of Bishop Avenue on Fort Bliss, according to a criminal complaint.

Beltran underwent surgery at the medical center and was then placed in the intensive care unit. Fort Bliss officials said that Beltran is a corporal stationed at the post.

U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command agents were then notified that a shooting had occurred on post and began investigating the situation, the complaint states.

Agents seized a Glock 9 mm handgun from the home and found one shell casing. Photos taken by the agents showed blood on the bathroom floor and inside the bathtub.

Beltran regained consciousness on Jan. 19. He told medical staff that he did not shoot himself and that Ruiz was the one who shot him with the handgun, the complaint states.

Medical staff then notified Fort Bliss Military Police and Criminal Investigation Command agents, who then turned the case over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Beltran told FBI agents that he was sitting on the edge of the bathtub cleaning his sandals, then heard a bang and felt pain, the complaint states. He noticed he had been shot and fell into the bathtub.

He then crawled out of the bathtub and saw Ruiz standing over him in the hallway and pointing the gun at him, Beltran told the FBI agents.

Beltran continued to crawl toward Ruiz and begged her not to shoot him again, according to the complaint.

Ruiz then ordered Beltran to get back into the bathtub and allegedly told him “I would rather have you dead than divorced,” the complaint states.

Beltran told Ruiz that he did not want a divorce and that they could change, the complaint states. He added that he would tell everyone that he accidentally shot himself as he was cleaning the gun.

He then asked Ruiz to take him to the hospital.

According to the complaint, Beltran claims that Ruiz had previously threatened him with a weapon.

Beltran said one time Ruiz threatened him with a knife and told him, “Till death do us part,” the complaint states.

FBI agents questioned Ruiz about the shooting. At first, she denied any involvement in the incident, but later allegedly admitted to shooting Beltran.

Ruiz said that she and Beltran had been arguing throughout the day because Beltran told her he wanted a divorce, he had a girlfriend and that he had been cheating on her, the complaint states.

The couple had been together since 2009, according to court documents. Ruiz told agents that she did not work and the couple had no children.

She added that she did not want to get a divorce and move back in with her parents, the complaint states.

Ruiz told agents that Beltran had entered their home after letting out the dogs and was sitting on the bathtub as he cleaned mud off of his sandals.

She told agents that “it was all coming to an end, she did not want a divorce, and she panicked,” according to the criminal complaint.

Ruiz then allegedly confessed to the agents stating, “Yeah, I did grab the gun and I did shoot him.”

According to a criminal complaint, Ruiz said that she intended to kill Beltran and then commit suicide. She said she changed her mind after she shot Beltran, who then apologized to her and told her he did not want a divorce.

Ruiz is facing one count each of assault with intent to murder, assault resulting in serious bodily injury and violent crime/drug/machine gun, according to court records.

She is currently being held without bond.

Aaron Martinez may be reached at 546-6249; [email protected]; @AMartinez31 on Twitter.