Docs: FBI agent’s partner drunk at GRPD after shooting

Records show FBI agent was intoxicated, armed when he went to GRPD headquarters


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Records show that after a former FBI agent shot at Grand Rapids police officers in December 2016, his partner arrived at police headquarters drunk.

24 Hour News 8 pored through some 80 pages of documents from the Grand Rapids Police Department, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, that detail a timeline of the night Ruben Hernandez shot at officers. He and his partner, John Salazar, were in the area from the FBI’s Las Vegas office working on a case.

The pages include narratives written by officers involved in handling the shooting and subsequent investigation. One reads, “[Special Agent] Salazar eventually arrived at HQ by unknown mean(s)… It should be noted that Salazar seemed intoxicated to all officers speaking with him in the lobby.”

Another shows that he submitted to a breathalyzer test just after 5:20 a.m. on Dec. 6, which found he had a blood alcohol content level of .116. Michigan’s legal limit is .08.

A third narrative shows that Salazar was armed when he arrived at the station. A local FBI agent who also responded to headquarters confiscated the gun before a GRPD officer escorted Salazar to an interview room. There, Salazar also turned over his cellphone and consented to a search of his hotel room.

The documents don’t specify what time Salazar showed up at GRPD headquarters, but it was sometime after 2:43 that morning, because officers found a McDonald’s receipt inside the white Nissan the two were renting.

None of the documents specifically state that Salazar drove himself to the department, but one says the car was parked out front on Monroe Center NW.

A different receipt included in the reports shows Salazar and Hernandez spent four hours at Brann’s Steakhouse and along with their meals bought 12 beers — 10 of which were 20-ounce Bell’s Brewery Two Hearted Ales and the other two of which were 14-ounce Two Hearteds. They headed to Sensations Showgirls nightclub, located near CenterPoint mall in the area of 28th Street and the East Beltline, just after midnight.

Body camera video shows part of the confrontation between an FBI agent and Grand Rapids police officers in the early hours of Dec. 6, 2017.

At some point while the two were inside the nightclub, Hernandez left and eventually ended up at the nearby Planet Fitness, walked around the gym with his gun and eventually shot at a responding GRPD officer. No officers were hit and no one was hurt.

Surveillance footage detailed shows Salazar left the club around 1:30 a.m.

24 Hour News 8 asked GRPD about Salazar showing up drunk and armed at the police station. Public Information Officer Sgt. Terry Dixon said the department turned everything over to the FBI’s Inspector General.

We did confirm though that the the local agent who confiscated Salazar’s gun drove him back to his hotel after officers interviewed him.

Calls and emails asking if Salazar still works at the FBI’s Las Vegas office were not returned Thursday.

The bureau fired Hernandez after the shooting. He has since reached a plea deal with the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office and is scheduled to be sentenced next month.