December 26th, 2011
02:25 PM ET

Suspect in soldier shooting surrenders

A man accused of shooting and paralyzing a U.S. Army soldier at a homecoming party in his honor surrendered to authorities in California on Monday.

Christopher Sullivan, 22, had just returned home to California from Kentucky where he was stationed while recovering from injuries sustained during a suicide bombing attack in December 2010 while he was in Afghanistan. The San Bernadino County Sun reported that the Army specialist narrowly survived the attack which killed five members of his unit and left Sullivan with a cracked collar bone and brain damage. Sullivan was awarded the Purple Heart after the incident.

Sullivan, 22, was shot at the party in his honor on Friday after an "argument and physical confrontation" with 19-year-old Ruben Ray Jurado, San Bernadino Police Department Sgt. Pete Higgins told CNN.

Accompanied by an attorney, Jurado turned himself in to authorities in Chino Hills early Monday afternoon, said Lt. Gwendolyn Waters. He was then transferred to the custody of San Bernardino police and was to be booked into jail, she said.

Jurado will face charges of attempted murder, police said.

The fight broke out after Jurado and Sullivan's younger brother began arguing about football, his mother, Suzanne Sullivan, told CNN.

"[He] pulled out a gun and shot him twice," she said.

Higgins said Jurado then fled the scene after the shooting.

Suspect Ruben Ray Jurado is wanted by police.

Sullivan was rushed to a hospital where he was being treated, officials said.

"Right now, my son is hanging in physically," Suzanne Sullivan told CNN. "He's on 100% life support. He can move his head and he responds through nodding and blinking to us. His eyes aren't always open but we try to encourage him to do so as often as possible."

She said her son tried to ask what happened to him at the hospital and when they told him he wanted to know "Why?"

"We told him what it was about and he just closed his eyes," Suzanne Sullivan told CNN.

Suzanne Sullivan said she was told the suspect and her son may have gone to school and played football together.

She also said she couldn't believe what had happened to her son, who she said joined the Army to try and help her out.

"He's a wonderful son ... the best person you could meet on this Earth," she said. "He's a giver, not a taker and just wants to be there for and help people. He was so happy when he joined the Army because he really wanted to defend his country."

Sullivan and her family have been at her son's bedside at a local hospital. A fellow soldier from Christopher Sullivan's 101st Airborne Division brought the infantry's flag to the hospital, Suzanne Sullivan told CNN.

"He loved his platoon, he loved his fellow soldiers," she said as she began to sob. "He was so proud to serve our country."

Tears rolled down Christopher Sullivan's face when he saw the flag of the Screaming Eagles, the nicknamed for the division, his mother said.

"I asked Chris if he wanted to me to hang it on the wall or cover him in it," Suzanne Sullivan said. "He nodded that he wanted me to cover him with it. Once I did that he started to cry, which made me start to cry. It's been really hard on all of us."

She said she was distraught over the news that her son, who was already recovering from injuries sustained during his tour abroad, had returned home only to be paralyzed during a party in the U.S.

"He once told me that if defending this country takes his life so be it," she said. "But to see he survived that and now for this to happen to him, just breaks my heart."

Suzanne Sullivan said her family is having a difficult time coming to terms with what happened. They hope the Jurado will turn himself him.

"We just want justice to be done," she said.

Anyone with more information on this case is asked to call Det. Michele Mahan at 909-384-5619 or Sgt. Gary Robertson at 909-384-5663, or call WeTip anonymously at 800-78-CRIME.

– CNN's Carey Bodenheimer and Janelle Griffin contributed to this report.

soundoff (1,059 Responses)
  1. Noe

    Its a cold world, with NO snuggie

    December 27, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. Big Bubba

    Feed the shooter to the Mexican cartels – the best form of justice, in this case, that I can imagine.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. A Quatroni

    Another low-life piece of garbage Hispanic committing an atrocity against an American. These people have no regard for their own lives in their country and they should all be thrown out of this one.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gloria

    I have prayed to Jehovah, God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only one, true and living God that His annointing flow through Christopher Sullivan's body from the top of his head to the tips of his toes to affect a complete healing and cure in Jesus' Name. Jesus did accomplish this wonderful healing around 2,000 years ago when He suffered and died on the cross for all of our sins. He bore the wounds and stripes on His body to heal us of all our infirmities and cure our diseases. This is definitely a "done deal" in Jesus' Precious and Strong Name. Amen. " Taste of the Lord, and see that He is good!"

    December 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Anchorite

    How do any of you people know this wasn't self defense? What kind of idiot would have a party for someone just returned from a warzone and get everyone drunk, invite people they don't know, and pick fights with them? The shoot first mentality on this forum is the reason this happened, and will happen again and again.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Anchorite, your stupid.. we got bak from afghanistan 7 months ago.. u should know some facts before u run ur mouth.. we on home on christmas leave.. i know the guy that got shot he's a good friend of mine.. we've been together since basic training, went to airborne school together, and afghanistan.. so when i tell u he's not the kinda guy to go pick a fight trust me!!

      December 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Albro

      YOU ACCUSE THE COMMENTORS OF HAVING THE "SHOOT FIRST" MENTALITY? WHO SHOT THE GUEST OF A PARTY, AND OVER FOOTBALL? I dont know who's the bigger idiot: you or, 'dead-eye' Jurado!

      December 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jodi

      Brandon you are right. I really Dislike people who don't support are Military !!!!

      December 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leigh

      If you are asking if we all know with 100% certainty what happened, the answer is no. We don't. From reports, however, I can make a few guesses. From the descriptions I've read, it doesn't sound like Chris started the fight. It sounds like he tried to stop one from escalating. It doesn't sound like he was the one who pulled a gun. It sounds like Jurado did that all by his lonesome.

      It sounds like you are trying to lay blame on the crime victim for being ... well, there.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carey

      my best friend's mother makes $78/hr on the internet. She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her paycheck was $9105 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site...LazyCash5.cöm

      December 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      What degree of "self defense" is required vs a foe w/ a broken collar bone? I mean seriously you could almost walk briskly away...

      December 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marine5484

      You are literary to stupid to insult.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Albro

    So, if I understand this right, this human trash made a point to bring a gun to a PARTY, and felt compelled to shoot the already-injured guest of honor, over FOOTBALL???? THROW AWAY THE KEY!!!!

    December 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Faaui Hunkin

    No time for dumb comments just show some love and prayers to the family and his mother whos doing what mom do. Im a mother too and I would do anything to bring my son back from this madness stupids shooting. Where is the love???Cmon now..Chris is fighting for his life.

    December 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Adriana

    I went to school with chris for a lil bit in Va. He is a nice guy and im sadden that something like this happen to such a nice person. My prayers go out to him and his family.

    December 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. charms

    This guy should be given 99 years without the possibility of parole.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Flores

    My prayers are with Chris and his family. He is a very strong and very confident man and will pull through this. He did before, and although many of our brother didn't make it home, I know Sulli' wants to live on for them.

    December 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. matt

    What happened to this person was sad. I support our military to an extent, but have never favored the illegal actions of the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both nations never affected my personal freedom. And we havn't been attacked by a military since Pearl Harbor. Bin Laden's forces are all over the Middle East. I do not favor the U.S. to go into every country killing every last one of them. We've killed more than we lost on 9/11 and it's sickening to me. I know I'll be bashed for my comment.

    December 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • dred44

      Matt please go suck on an exhaust pipe of a running car until you expire!

      December 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mark

    See the uniform he is wearing not sure if it is the right way to wear it. name tag should be on the righ side and all other achievements like sharpshooter and CIB badges should be on the left for infrantryman. Lace should be on right shoulder too. I believe he is an 11 bravo since he is in 101st. Not sure if there is a new way to wear the uniform please enlighten me.

    December 27, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marine5484

      Mark....the picture being taken in the mirror reverses the image.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JimBob

    This reminds me of the time I was shot. I was at a party arguing with a friend over what was better, shampoo or conditioner. I said shampoo was better because it goes on first and cleans the hair. Another guest said conditioner was better because it leaves the hair silky and smooth. Then he pulled out a gun and shot me.

    December 28, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  14. Hear Ye

    In cases such as this, the obviously guilty should be taken out back immediately, and shot. There is absolutely NO NEED for a big investigation and any further cost to taxpayers.

    December 30, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
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