Man Killed By Washington County Deputy Identified

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A man who was killed by a Washington County Deputy on Wednesday (Dec. 21) has been identified.

Benjamin Ortiz, 25, of Las Vegas, Nevada, has been identified as the man who was killed at Tire Tracks by Corporal Brad Robinson on Wednesday afternoon, according to a Fayetteville Police Department press release.

Robinson was at Tire Tracks getting a flat tire repaired on Wednesday afternoon when he noticed a white man, later identified as Ortiz, walking toward him with a knife in his hand, the release states. Robinson backed up and drew his weapon, causing Ortiz to stop momentarily.

However, Ortiz resumed walking toward Robinson, and he refused to stop and drop the knife despite Robinson's several requests, the release states.

Robinson kept backing up while Ortiz was advancing, according to the release. Ortiz lunged at Robinson, who fired his gun twice in an attempt to stop Ortiz.

Ortiz was hit in the torso and collapsed. The release states that Robinson started administering aid and called paramedics. However, Ortiz died at the scene.

“It just shows how quickly a situation can escalate from something that turned into not any type of enforcement contact because a deadly force situation in just the matter of seconds,” said Sgt. Craig Stout of the Fayetteville Police Department.

Detectives found a note in Ortiz's backpack that indicated he was considering suicide.

“It just does make some statements there and just don`t know if maybe he was walking down and just saw the deputy and chose to engage the deputy in a manner that resulted in his death,” Stout said.

Robinson didn't have any interactions with the man before the incident.

"It also highlights that there is unfortunately a seeming trend across the country...they use the term suicide by cop and this appears to be the case in this situation," he said.

The Fayetteville Police Department is investigating the shooting.

Stout said investigators have viewed the Tire Tracks security footage, which backs up the deputy's account. He said Robinson followed protocol during the incident.

Corporal Robinson is on paid administrative leave which is protocol while Washington County Sheriff's Office does a internal investigation to make sure policies and procedures were properly followed.

Ortiz's body was sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy.