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. ObjectiveOpinion

    Christopher served his country, a hero, and taken down by a worthless individual. He'll be caught, and spend years in prison, but I would give him life in solitary so he can think about only this every day. I hope Christopher can make a complete recovery. To his mom and family, I am sorry you have to go thru this.

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

      song of the week in afghanistan:"how does it feel to treat you like you do to me".a hero?basssssssssssstard and hoooooooooooooooligan who terrorized poor afghans.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Larry

    Ahh, another great layout from CNN. Whoever posted the picture reversed it horizontally. Notice the locations of all the medals are wrong and his name is spelled backwards on his nametag. Helloooooo!

    December 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mallory Simon, CNN News blog editor

      Larry, that is a photo that was distributed from the family. It is taken through a mirror with an iPhone. We have a policy of not altering the photos that are given to us, so we could not rotate it in the other direction.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moi

      The picture was taken in front of a mirror.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      LOL on Larry

      December 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Never Debate

      Very good observation.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • you're not smart

      its obviosly a picture he took on his blackberry in a mirror. I hope you're a janitor or something

      December 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • dan

      Actually, that picture was taken in the mirror by himself, with the phone he holds in his hand... good eyes though...

      December 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jus sayin!!!

      Really!!!! Its obvious that he took the picture of himself in the mirror!! HELLOOOOOOO!!!!!

      December 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      You might notice that he's taking a picture of himself in a mirror. Umm...hellooooooooooooooooooo!! Anyone home Larry?

      December 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Larry

      Really, Larry? Did you not notice the cell phone pointing in the mirror in this self pic?

      December 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • abqtim

      Take a look at the pic again. He's photographing himself in the mirror...duh!

      December 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      Larry, if you take a sec and look at the picture, he's taking a picture of himself with his cellphone in a mirror, which would cause it to be reversed, or a MIRROR image

      December 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • RetiredVet

      Larry, don't know if you had noticed but Sullivan took this picture with his cell phone camera in front of a mirror...it's going to be backwards.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Larry, was it not completely obvious that he took this himself with the phone he is holding in his hand...AND looking at.
      Speedy recovery, soldier! May the piece of trash who shot you spend the rest of his worthless life in the darkest dungeon ever conceived of.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rondeezle

      It's a mirror picture Larry. No alteration was done to the photo.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jag

      Everything is backwards because it's an image that he took himself, standing in-front of a mirror. Could CNN have flipped it? Sure. But as is, the layout is not manipulated, which seems to be your primary concern.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • nope

      keep replying to this people, it needs to be at the top so larry knows how stupid he is

      December 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      Larry the simpleton, the picture is obviously a reflection on the mirror. Notice he is holding a camera?

      December 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Colo

      Sullivan is using his camera phone to take a picture of himself in the mirror, thus the image is reversed.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rondeezle

      LOL Larry just got OWNED in the discussion!

      December 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • SAMM

      He survives a suicide bombing in Afghanistan, only to return home and get shot and paralyzed.

      I hope they catch this worthless p.o.s ASAP.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • SP

      They didn't reverse it...it's a "self-portrait" taken in a mirror.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • csam18

      Larry just got owned.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Actually, it appears he is taking the photo himself.
      So, it actually is a mirror view because it's a photo of a mirror.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lexi

      Hmmnn... It's a picture SPC Sullivan took of himself in a mirror...

      December 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary Canada

      Larry, you are an idiot. It is clearly taken with a camera phone in a mirror, so its all backwards to being with. The family probably liked the expression on his face, since perhaps it captures his personality.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jus sayin!!!

      Larry, Larry, Larry!!!!!! Omg!!!!! I just can't get over how stupid you are!!!!!

      December 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael

      Where I come from we call that sarcasm. Larry, I feel ya bruh

      December 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • dumb

      Its obviously a self portrait taken in a mirror....

      December 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Real Soldier

      I like geniuses like you...did you notice that he is taking a picture of himself with a camera phone??? OBTW...he is paralyzed, how about you focus on the real issue.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      How about you're an idiot who can't tell this was a mirror pic?

      December 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill Allen

    Execute him on a local public access channel.

    December 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Meko

    so screwed up..he had to come back to america to get shot. welcome home troops

    December 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sal

    Too many guns, too many guns in the wrong hands and this is what happens! Don't give me any lip about guns and it's your god given right to have them! GUNS ARE THE PROBLEM PERIOD 

    December 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Not agreeing or disagreeing but everything is a weapon. If you take away the guns, they will use knives. If you take away the knives they will use clubs. If you take away the clubs.......etc. etc. etc. Weapon of choice makes no difference if someone is intent on causing harm to another human being. The root of the problem is – well – there isn't one root. We can blame the parents, illegals, immigration, schools, movies, society, guns, politics, democracy, leniency. Pick your poison. We need to stop marginalizing everything and trying to boil it down to one reason. The longer we do this, the furhter we are from trying to ease (not solve) the problem. Thinking you can solve violence is an ignorant assumption because you can pick any century to see how all ethnicities, societies, etc. have treated their fellow human being.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      The problem is keeping guns away from lunatic losers who shoot people over arguments about football or some other insane, over the top argument.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • csam18

      Yes because guns shoot themselves. Is it that hard for you to understand that criminals will always have access to weapons? You think the gun this guy had was registered and purchased legally? Wake the hell up.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sacombs2

    This is sad that this happened. On the other hand, this is California, this type of senseless violence should be expected from this kind of state. Here is what we can do, we can seal it off 100% and turn it into a Supermax prison. No change since its basically slowly turning into one anyway.

    December 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. abqtim

    Over a football game... truly, what a bunch of idiots. So sad for Chris Sullivan. Hope they catch that idiot very very soon and prosecute him for the charges quickly. Who in world would brings a gun to a welcome home party?!?!

    December 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jag

      Dangerous minorities (I wonder who will get the reference).

      December 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. joe

    Wait he shot him over FOOTBALL? I knew hispanics were crazy about it but GOD DAMN!

    December 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • csam18

      From what I understood, he was trying to calm the situation between this moron and his younger brother which was over a football topic. People who lack critical thinking are dangerous. So driven by emotion that they decide the best thing to do is pull a trigger. They'll find this guy that's for sure.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. m harr

    A half billion guns in the USA in 2012. A cowboy nation. Expect more and more and more, and more shootings
    among 325 million people.
    (1) Eliminate ALL guns. (2) Replace with efficient stun guns ONLY. (3) Maybe make guns ONLY licensed to females.

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

      whatever, you chinese troll....

      December 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Most of the actual cowboys who herded cattle in the 19th century didn't even have guns, but apparently some people will believe anything Hollywood churns out.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bob

    The guy that shot this innocent solider, should not be able to live!!!

    December 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pete

    what should happen here is once they catch Mr Jurado well they should put a bullet in his! back and paralyze him and see if he likes that.

    December 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. etr

    My goodness. Not even a beast would do that. It breaks my heart just to read this. Regarding the shooter: how much lower can a human being go... He does not even deserve to be called a human being. I hope he gets to suffer really hard on death row.

    December 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bitterjack

    football may have been the topic, but the real reason is jealousy. Some people just can't handle the hard workers getting the credit they deserve.

    December 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • db

      Is that why you are bitter, Jack?

      December 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. db

    I'll bet the argument was Tebow related.

    December 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lonewolf

    A vet gets shot here and people are worried about a picture. Hanging is to good for the S.O.B. who shot him. Being a former vet myself. I feel for him and his family.

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