A convicted cop-killer who fatally shot a Dallas police corporal after a high speed chase in 2007 used his final breaths to apologize to the officer’s family Wednesday, telling them he was sorry “for taking him away from you” minutes before being put to death.
Wesley Ruiz, the 43-year-old death row inmate, was given a lethal injection as punishment for shooting and killing 33-year-old Dallas Police Senior Corporal Mark Nix, according to FoxNews.
However, even as he sought to atone for his sins, Ruiz never looked at Nix’s friends and relatives, who watched from behind a glass window a few feet away inside the state penitentiary in Huntsville.
“I would like to apologize to Mark and the Nix family for taking him away from you,” Ruiz said as he lay strapped to the gurney. “I hope this brings you closure.”
He also thanked his own friends and family before telling the warden he was “ready to ride.”
“Don’t worry about me,” Ruiz said. “I’m ready to fly.”
Ruiz was then given a lethal dose of pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate, according to FoxNews. Doctors declared him dead 22 minutes later, at 6:41 p.m.
Ruiz had said he fled from police that day 16 years ago because he had drugs in the car and was high at the time. He fired a single shot at Nix, a U.S. Navy veteran, once the pursuit ended because Nix was trying to break the car’s passenger side window, authorities said.
Ruiz said he didn’t mean to kill the corporal, only stop him — and he claimed Nix had threatened to kill him. However, the bullet hit the officer’s badge shattering it and sending metal splinters into Nix’s neck. One of these fragments severed an artery.
Nix, who had been on the force for seven years and was engaged to be married, died later at a hospital.
Ruiz was the second inmate put to death in Texas this year after Robert Fratta, who had been convicted of a 1994 murder-for-hire and died by lethal injection on Jan. 10. The lone star state executed five criminals who had been sentenced to death in 2022 and has another six executions scheduled.