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Homicide suspect had previously made gun threats

While the suspect in one of two homicides reported in the last week is still at the city jail awaiting formal charges, The Constitution has obtained further documentation indicating the Saturday night slaying may not have been the first time the 44-year-old man accused of shooting 35-year-old Samuel Ruffin drew a pistol on persons allegedly involved in a domestic dispute. 

Police have said they will not discuss possible motives for the shooting or why police specifically arrested the suspect for first-degree murder, as that information resulted from interviews with potential witnesses. 

"Based on information we received and interviews conducted, we believed there was enough evidence to place the suspect into jail on first-degree murder," LPD Capt. Craig Akard said in a statement. "However, what finally gets filed will be up to the DA's office."

Investigators say the case remains under investigation.

As previously reported, investigators were dispatched around 8:30 p.m. Saturday to the Dew Drop Inn, 1804 NW Fort Sill Blvd., where Ruffin was collapsed on his side from what the medical examiner's office determined to be gunshot wounds of the chest, eventually resulting in his death. 

Friends and family are still reeling from the loss of the man they described as a "loving, kind, person," "a wonderful father," and "a good man," while many are wondering what led a complete stranger, said to be a regular patron of the bar, to find trouble out in the parking lot.

An official statement released from LPD this weekend said that from their initial interviews, Ruffin "was having an argument with his girlfriend, and the suspect intervened and shot the victim."

Police said Monday that they didn't know whether Ruffin had any physical contact with his girlfriend prior to the suspect's intervention. Investigators have not said whether the suspect was carrying the weapon used in the killing  believed to have been recovered from the scene  when he first encountered Ruffin or if he might have retrieved it from his vehicle. However, police said Monday the suspect had just pulled up in the parking lot prior to the shots being fired.

While The Constitution reported Tuesday that court records showed Ruffin had a history of becoming violent during domestic disputes, family members denied that.

Record searches pertaining to the suspect were returned Tuesday morning indicating the suspect had previously admitted to pointing a gun at others involved in domestic disputes. He also has been named as the respondent in a separate matter. 

The Lawton Constitution

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