WATCH: FBI Agent Arrives Armed, Drunk at Police Station After Partner Shot at Cop

Apr 4, 2017

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – After a Las Vegas-based FBI special agent was arrested for shooting at police in a bizarre episode at a fitness club, his partner showed up at police headquarters armed and drunk, reports say.

John Paul Salazar II was not arrested but the FBI is investigating his actions in the hours after his partner, Ruben Hernandez, fired at police Sgt. Neil Gomez outside of Planet Fitness at 3681 28th St. SE.

“It should be noted that Salazar seemed intoxicated to all officers speaking to him in the lobby,” Deputy Chief Daniel Savage wrote in police reports obtained by MLive and The Grand Rapids Press under the Freedom of Information Act.

“It was eventually determined that Salazar was armed – (special agent Sean Burns) took possession of Salazar’s handgun upon (Burns’) arrival.”

Grand Rapids police interviewed Salazar before he left with Burns, who was in charge of the Grand Rapids office before his recent retirement.

Police Sgt. Terry Dixon said investigators focused on Salazar as a witness but provided reports about his actions to the FBI and U.S. Office of Inspector General to determine if any discipline should be taken.

Ruben Hernandez, 35, of North Las Vegas, pleaded no contest Friday, Feb. 24, to felonious assault.

Dixon said that Salazar should not have possessed a firearm after drinking. He said police “basically turned everything over to the FBI, to allow them to handle the issues with him.”

Police reports showed that Salazar’s rented Nissan Versa was parked outside of police headquarters. Salazar later opened the car door in the presence of police to retrieve items.

No one witnessed Salazar driving the vehicle, police said.

Salazar did not drive away.

“He did not leave on his own accord. He left with the FBI special agent,” Dixon said.

Sandy Breault, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Las Vegas office, said: “The FBI takes allegations of misconduct very seriously. This matter has been referred to the FBI’s Internal Investigations Section in Washington, DC. Because this is an ongoing investigation, we will not comment further.”

The Office of Inspector General declined to comment.

It is the agency’s practice “that we do not confirm or deny the existence of an ongoing investigation,” senior counsel John Lavinsky said.

Police said Hernandez, after a night of drinking, brandished a handgun inside Planet Fitness around 1:15 a.m. then fired three shots at responding officers.

No one was injured. Police arrested Hernandez at gunpoint in a nearby parking lot. There, they learned he was an FBI agent.

A Las Vegas-based FBI special agent is accused of shooting at a Grand Rapids police sergeant outside of a fitness club.

Hernandez, who has lost his job, pleaded no contest to felonious assault and could avoid a jail sentence in a plea deal.

He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.13 percent – a motorist is presumed intoxicated at 0.08 percent – and no memory of the incident. He apparently suffered an alcohol-fueled paranoia attack.

A married father of two, he worked eight years for the FBI. He could not believe he shot at police, his attorney said.

Hernandez and Salazar were in Grand Rapids to conduct interviews as part of an investigation into a telemarketing scheme, police reports said.

The night before the early-morning shooting, they had dinner at Brann’s Steakhouse and Grille, where, over the course of four hours, they ordered two 14-ounce Bells 2 Hearted Ales, and 10 of the 20-ounce ales, records showed.

They then went to Sensations Showgirls, records showed.

Hernandez did not remember what happened after that. Earlier that night, he called his brother and said he was in “danger.” He sounded “confused and wasn’t himself.”

Grand Rapids police later told the brother that Hernandez was safe, but had been arrested, reports showed.

Hernandez was in custody when Salazar showed up at the police station. Salazar seemed initially reluctant to talk to police. He said he had to get the OK from FBI superiors.

Police suspected he tried to cover up his intoxication with gum and cologne. An officer whispered that he had “14 sticks” of gum. Salazar was “somewhat evasive” and made several calls, apparently to his supervisor in Las Vegas, police said.

He wanted to verify that Hernandez was the one behind the shooting.

“Can I just make sure I know who it is?”

An officer asked why.

Meanwhile, Savage, the deputy chief, said he wanted Salazar to help police piece everything together.

When shown Hernandez’s photo, Salazar said: “What the? Oh my gosh. Ok. That is Ruben Hernandez.”

Burns, the local FBI special agent, soon showed up. He told Salazar to let police take his firearm before he talked to him.

“Just let them do what they got to do,” Burns said, before taking Salazar’s gun.

Salazar then provided police consent to search his cell phone as well as his Holiday Inn Express room. He also provided police with Hernandez’s FBI wallet with FBI identification that was in the rental car.

Detective Sgt. Chris Postma met with Burns at police headquarters.

“Burns had removed Agent John Salazar’s weapon. We conducted a round count and all ammunition was accounted for,” Postma wrote.

“I escorted Salazar to an interview room and searched him. He initially was reluctant to surrender a phone he was texting from. I seized it from him and had him remain in the interview room.”

At 5:22 a.m., Salazar took a breath test for alcohol. It was 0.116 percent.

Two days later, Salazar agreed to a second interview with police, reports said. Police noted it was “voluntary.”