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. jamesmcgovern

    Bet he was a Raiders fan. It was like this? Rivers would pass for like 500yrds on the raiders. Oh yeah well I'll shoot your brother. Bang Bang. It don't get more stupid then that. Hang That fool and save the tax money for something else.

    December 26, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stupidity Sucks

      Being a Raiders fan has nothing to do with anything. Your grammar is truly ludicrous.

      It is sad that this young man served our country, only to be shot at a celebration honoring him. You are in my prayers, Chris!

      December 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carlos

      Sorry to hear this has happened. My prayers go out him and his family. Out of curiosity, why is his name tag backwards?

      December 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamesmcgovern

      He is taking a picture of himself standing in front of a mirror. So it is his reflection.

      December 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Russ

    The world was much different hundreds of years ago. 21st century morals didn't exist. Western man believed his society and religion were the most highly developed. On the other side, you had possibly a million native Americans inhabiting a vast continent. These people, for the most part, were primitive, culturally, technologically, and in all other ways. Yes, they should have been treated better, but knowing how people were then, it is a miracle that any survived. It was a lopsided contest between a highly developed ethno centric society and one with no technology. If the Europeans had been liberal, how do you believe they should have "negotiated" with the native Americans? It is a difficult question. I believe, at best, they would have given them reservations with more and better land, that is all. The vast amounts of land would still have gone to the settlers because their culture and strength were not going to be denied.

    December 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Nothing to do with story ...

      December 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • dapper

      A) What are you rambling on about?
      B) There were 50 million plus Native Americans before the advent of western man, not 1 million.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Katie

    Hard to take when you know a soldier is safer in a war zone than at his own welcome home party.

    December 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      He wasn't safer in a war zone. He was injured there, and according to the article suffered brain damage, in a suicide bombing attack that killed five other members of his unit. Not exactly safer than a party where a shooting injures one person. However, in a way the latter is more tragic because it was completely senseless violence someplace he should have been safe whereas the bombing while terrible is the kind of thing that one expects in a war zone.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chengu

    Pin shooter on an Ant Hill [Termite Mound] and let the Termites devour him alive.

    December 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bob

    So sad that a hero might die at the hands of a coward!

    December 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GBfromOhio

    Why why why why why???

    December 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. augustghost

    welcome home to c rapville

    December 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. outraged

    ""He's a giver, not a taker.." yeah, right.. exactly what Obama/Pelosi/Holder/Reid work hard agains: "Giver, American Citizen".. Wondering if shooter's parents legally in U S A

    December 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • NeutralMind

      What an ignorant idiot you are!

      December 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hot Patata

      It sounds like you're outraged at something other than this story, Or maybe just at everything in general. I don't think the President is responsible for this.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kenny I underrstand why your mom tried to flush your butt after you were born. She realized then she had given birth to an IDIOT.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Vera Waitress

    I believe football is worth fighting over. I lost the use of my left hand over an argument about whether or not the New England patriots should punt, and I don't miss the hand. I lost my hand, but I won the argument, and that's what counts.

    December 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cristian

      Good post, and I agree. Glad you won that arguement too. The glory will be with you forever.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • oddly coddersson

      ...and your waitressing career has clearly not suffered. You are a real trooper, Vera. Real Patriots never quit, and they sure as heck don't punt!

      December 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Stu Pd Mex

    Raiders fan maybe? Why does every 19 y.o. minority male have to show how tough they are by poppin' a cap in someone?

    December 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah


      December 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Shawn

    And of course we always see mug shots of these murderers who are on the loose. That tells you one thing; they already had a violent criminal history. But because our society is too weak to put these vermin down in the beginning of their life of crime, we put them back on the street and continue to be victimized by them. We deserve every bit of the crime enacted upon us; it's our own doing.

    December 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jsizzle

      Amen Shawn! 50 years no parole for any crime committed with a gun. Let's see how tough they are then.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Aimee

    So sad. Will be praying for him and his family

    December 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • joshua

      I'm so glad to hear you're going to talk to your imaginary friend in your head. Just what he and his family need right now.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mike in SA

    Find the shooter, send him to the 101st unit of this soldier, let the unit take him into a firefight with them. Any bets on if the man comes out alive?

    December 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. outraged

    "Home Land Security" probably in charge to secure "Land", not American People.... Any comments from Napolitano?

    December 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jsizzle

    just box up all the illegals and ship them back to Mexico. Close our borders to this trash!

    December 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
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