Jail for tearful ex-FBI agent who shot at GRPD

Prosecutor re-evaluating case against ex-agent's drunk partner

Ruben Manuel Hernandez appears in 61st District Court in Grand Rapids. (Feb. 24, 2017)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A former FBI agent who shot at a Grand Rapids police officer is going to jail.

Kent County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Leiber ruled on Thursday that he would not adhere to the no jail part of a plea deal for former agent Ruben Manuel Hernadez, instead sentencing him to 135 days in jail.

Leiber told the tearful Hernandez that regardless of who you are, if you a fire a gun at an officer, you are going to jail.

“Any time anyone takes a shot at any peace officer, being locked up is a reality,” Leiber said. “I could not in conscience follow the prosecutor’s recommendation of no jail.”

“Once again, I want to apologize for my actions, I want to apologize to the Grand Rapids Police Department,” Hernandez told the court before the sentence was handed down. “I just want you to know that I am- I’m just tired, sir, I’m tired of being tired, if that makes sense. Tired of not having peace in my life … and I’m tired of this. I’m tired of crying.”

He previously pleaded no contest to felonious assault; in turn, the prosecution dropped charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and brandishing a weapon in public.

Hernandez and his partner John Salazar came to Grand Rapids from Las Vegas in December to conduct interviews on an undisclosed case. Between the late night hours of Dec. 5 and early morning hours of Dec. 6, the two ate dinner and stopped at Showgirls nightclub off of the East Beltline, police records show.

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, Hernandez left the nightclub and ended up at the nearby Planet Fitness.He walked around the gym with his gun and eventually shot at a responding GRPD officer, according to police. No officers were hit and no one was hurt.

Defense attorney Larry Willey said Hernandez may have had a “paranoid” episode at the time of the incident. He said alcohol may have played a factor.

Hernandez was fired by the FBI following the incident.

After the incident, Salazar arrived at police headquarters drunk and armed, according to police records obtained by 24 Hour News 8.

FBI agent, John Salazar, GRPD
Body camera video shows FBI Agent John Salazar at the Grand Rapids Police Department in the early morning hours of Dec. 6, 2017.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker previously told Target 8 that he would not be charging Salazar because he didn’t have enough evidence to charge him with anything. However Thursday, Becker said he was re-evaluating the Salazar case, based on police body camera video brought to his attention by Target 8.

–24 Hour News 8’s Barton Deiters contributed to this report.