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Death of Cook County Jail detainee found dead in his cell ruled a homicide

Pedro Ruiz, 19, had been ordered held without bail Friday on an attempted murder charge in a shooting Tuesday in Back of the Yards, police said.

A 19-year-old Cook County corrections inmate was found dead Feb. 1, 2020 in his cell.
A 19-year-old Cook County corrections inmate was found dead in his cell Feb. 1, 2020.
Adobe Stock Photo

The death of a 19-year-old man being held at Cook County Jail on an attempted murder charge was ruled a homicide Sunday by the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The inmate, Pedro Ruiz, was found dead in his cell early Saturday with apparent head trauma, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office.

Correctional officers found Ruiz unresponsive in his cell at 1:53 a.m. and immediately “began lifesaving measures,” according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and pronounced dead.

An autopsy found he died of “multiple injuries,” the medical examiner’s office said.

Pedro Ruiz
Pedro Ruiz
Cook County sheriff’s office

Ruiz’s cellmate was put in handcuffs, the sheriff’s office said, which they said was standard procedure during a investigation.

No charges have been filed and the sheriff’s office said they were conducting a death investigation.

Ruiz, of Back of the Yards, had been ordered held at the jail without bail during a hearing Friday where he faced charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm in connection with a shooting Tuesday in his neighborhood, Chicago police said.

Ruiz was accused of shooting a 21-year-old man at about 11:15 p.m. outside a store in the 1800 block of West 47th Street after getting into an argument inside the store, police said.

The 21-year-old who was shot was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition, police said.