Church raising money for family of ‘Purge’-inspired murder victim

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A local church is raising money for the family of a man who, according to prosecutors, was murdered by Johnathon Cruz during a crime spree last month.

Police found the body of Jose Ruiz near Washington and Linwood on May 15. Ruiz attended Holy Spirit Catholic Church every Sunday.

The church lost a parishioner, but Fr. Paul Kotter says they gained an angel.

“The faith that was alive within his heart here on earth continues to be alive with him in heaven,” Koetter said.

Ruiz was a husband and a father of two. Fr. Koetter and other church members are collecting donations for his family.

“We’re just trying to see if people can help them through a very tragic time,” Koetter said. “He was the only bread winner in the family and they have some serious needs right now.”

Police said they found him shot and killed in a car after someone spotted the body and called police around 4:30 a.m. Koetter said Ruiz was on his way to work.

“It was a total shock to this community. People were walking around with tears in their eyes, just with disbelief that this could happen to one of our members,” Koetter said.

A priest baptized Ruiz’s daughter at Holy Spirit. It’s where Ruiz married his wife, where he taught confirmation class and where his family held his funeral.

“The church was packed,” Fr. Koetter said. “There was a very real sense of prayer in the midst of it and so much thankfulness for the kind of man that he was.”

Fr. Koetter doesn’t support the death penalty but he said Cruz needs to be incarcerated.

Anyone interested in donating to the Ruiz family can contact Holy Spirit Catholic Church at (317) 352-1243.

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