Hartford Man Charged in Murder of Teen Cousin

A 17-year-old student from Bulkeley High School in Hartford is dead and his 28-year-old cousin is being held on $2 million bond after being charged in the teen's murder.

Police said Edwin Ruiz, 28, of 36 Bedford Street in Hartford, stabbed his teenage cousin, Bryan Salaman Acosta, 17, in the neck and torso at the family's apartment.

Authorities were called to the scene around 8:10 p.m. Sunday, where they found Salaman lying on the sidewalk and bleeding, according to police. Family members were applying pressure to Salaman's wounds.

The teen was rushed to Saint Francis Hospital, but doctors couldn't save him. Salaman was pronounced dead at 10:11 p.m.

Police said the teen and Ruiz had been fighting all day leading up to the stabbing.

According to the incident report, Ruiz and Salaman Acosta were at the apartment together with other family members when Ruiz asked Salaman Acosta to go to the store with him, Ruiz's mother told investigators.

A few minutes later, Ruiz returned to the apartment and told his mother "he was going to jail," then admitted to stabbing his cousin, according to the case report. Ruiz's wife told police he sat down on the couch and hid his face in his hands.

Ruiz initially told police three men had run up to the them while he and Salaman Acosta were walking to the store and assaulted Salaman Acosta. He said he tried to bring his cousin home when Salaman Acosta collapsed, and told police his family members were lying, the incident report says.

Ruiz then "became agitated at the questions and was uncooperative," according to the report.

The suspect's wife told police Ruiz had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder and was taking medication, the report says. She said he was arrested several years ago in connection with another stabbing and "several domestic violence incidents," which resulted in a restraining order.

Hartford police said Ruiz does not have a history of domestic violence or related arrests within the city.

Ruiz has been charged with one count of murder in connection with Salaman Acosta's death.

School officials said Salaman Acosta was in the lower school, which includes grades nine and 10. Crisis counselors will be at the high school to support grieving students, according to a spokesperson.

"The passing of one of our students is always painful, regardless of the circumstances. It is particularly upsetting when the subject of our grief is a young man, who was very active in school sports activities and well loved by his teachers and classmates," Hartford Supt. Beth Shiavino-Narvaez said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Brian Salaman. The Bulkeley High School community deeply misses him. I ask that we honor Brian’s memory with a moment of silence and acts of kindness."

A spokesperson for Hartford Public Schools said the school system planned to hold a remembrance ceremony outside Bulkeley High School at 1 p.m. Monday.

No family members were in court when Ruiz faced a judge Monday and a new court appearance was set for Nov. 24.

The Hartford Police Department is still seeking witnesses and information. Anyone with information is asked to call Lt. Glendaly Garcia at 860-757-4043.

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