Attorney: FBI agent who shot at officer was paranoid

No one hurt when shots fired in the area of East Beltline and 28th St. early Tuesday

Ruben Manuel Hernandez was arraigned via video on Dec. 7, 2016.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The FBI agent who allegedly fired shots at a Grand Rapids police officer Tuesday felt paranoid at the time of the incident, his attorney said.

Ruben Manuel Hernandez, 35, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, felonious assault and brandishing a weapon in public. He is being held on a $70,000 bond.

The agent and his FBI partner came to Grand Rapids from Las Vegas on Monday to conduct interviews on an undisclosed case. They were to return to Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Sources say the two ate dinner Monday night, stopped at Showgirls nightclub off of the East Beltline, then reached nearby a Planet Fitness gym about 1:20 a.m. Tuesday.

That’s when Hernandez may have had a “paranoid” episode, his attorney Larry Willey said. He said alcohol may have played a factor.

“He felt that people were getting him, that sort of thing,” Willey said. “I’m not saying that was, in fact happening, but that’s what he believed.”

Police say he walked inside Planet Fitness and pulled his gun.

He “brandished a firearm while making some disturbing comments while walking around the facility,” Grand Rapids Police Department Detective Matt Kubiak testified while swearing out a warrant for the agent’s arrest.

Responding to a 911 call, GRPD Sgt. Neil Gomez spotted Hernandez in the nearby Orbit Room parking lot north of the Shops at CenterPoint mall.

“He illuminated him with his spotlight,” Detective Kubiak testified. “At that time, Mr. Hernandez raised a handgun and fired shots at Sgt. Gomez’s vehicle.

Hernandez surrendered moments later to other responding officers.

“He was then taken into custody,” Kubiak said. “At that point, officers learned that he was an FBI agent from another state.”

No one was hurt during the incident.

GRPD took a blood test and is awaiting results.

His attorney said Hernandez is an 8-year veteran of the FBI with an unblemished record and a married father of two.

He said the agent has a “vague, hazy” recollection of the incident.

“He’s feeling horrible,” the attorney said. “He can’t believe that that happened. He’s feeling horrible. He’s feeling like you would think he would feel. He’s a really good guy.”

Hernandez is allowed to leave state, provided he returns for his court appearances. His preliminary examination is scheduled for Dec. 27.