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Man pleads not guilty to shooting soldier over football dispute

December 29, 2011 |  1:47 pm

Christopher Sullivan and Suzanne Sullivan; Ruben Ray Jurado

A 19-year-old man accused of shooting an Army veteran on leave for the holidays pleaded not guilty Thursday to attempted murder and four special allegations involving premeditation and the use of a firearm.

Ruben Ray Jurado turned himself in Monday after he was named a suspect in the shooting of Christopher Sullivan, 22, who had served in Afghanistan and was attending a welcome home party in his honor when he was shot. Jurado was arraigned Thursday in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Police said Sullivan, who was wounded in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan last year, intervened in an argument between Jurado and Sullivan's brother, apparently over football. Sullivan remains hospitalized in critical condition and hasn’t been able to stabilize enough to undergo needed surgery, an aunt said Thursday.

Jurado's attorney told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that Jurado claimed party guests, who had been drinking heavily and inhaling nitrous oxide, attacked and kicked him.

Authorities said Jurado fired three shots, hitting Sullivan twice. One shot shattered Sullivan's spine, leaving him paralyzed.

Jurado is being held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga with bail set at $1 million.


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-- Paloma Esquivel

Photo: (left) Christopher Sullivan and his mother, Suzanne Sullivan. Credit: KTLA. (right) Ruben Ray Jurado. Credit: San Bernardino Police Department