‘Worst thing I’ve ever seen’: Man accused of shooting family says he did it to protect himself

Harlan, Michigan — A Harlan man who allegedly shot his estranged wife to protect his 2-year-old son says the shooting was a tragic accident.

Richard Rucker, 52, was arrested Saturday after police say he shot his wife, 58-year old Margaret Rucker after the pair argued about money.

He told police that the shooting stemmed from the divorce, according to a police report.

Rucker, who has a concealed-carry permit, told investigators that his wife had threatened to take her life if he didn’t get his money, the report said.

Rucker told police he believed Margaret Rufus had tried to take away his gun and he was protecting himself, the police report said, according and Reuters news agency.

Police were called to Rucker’s house after a 911 caller reported that Margaret Ruck was “waking up in the middle of the night” and was not breathing, according the report.

After officers arrived at the home, Rucker was taken into custody and was taken to a hospital, where he was later booked into the Wayne County Jail, according, to the report, which does not indicate how long he was held.

The Rufuses have a 4-year-, 10-year and 16-year child together, according their website.

A spokesperson for the Wayne State University Police Department told the Detroit News that they are investigating Rucker and his wife for domestic violence and battery and are cooperating with authorities.

“At this time we are investigating the incident and we cannot comment further at this time,” the statement read.