Former corrections director shoots self, points gun at officers during 3-hour S. Tempe standoff

Police were held at bay for three hours Jan. 6 during a standoff involving an armed man inside a South Tempe home near Warner and Rural roads. – file photo

A former director at the Arizona Department of Corrections is expected to face criminal charges following a three-hour South Tempe standoff with police, in which he pointed a gun at officers.

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It finally ended with the man surrendering and being admitted to a hospital due to a self-inflicted gunshot in a hand.

Charles Ryan, who retired as head of DOC Rehabilitation and Reentry in 2019, was armed inside his home near Rural and Warner roads when officers responded at about 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 6 to a call of a shooting.

Charles Ryan

Ryan’s wife and daughter safely escaped the home and spoke with investigators outside, officers said.

Attempts by officers to communicate with Ryan were unsuccessful. At one point, officers said, he opened the door from the house and pointed a gun at them.

Police attempted to use non-lethal force and made commands for Ryan to surrender, but he went back inside.

Negotiators were called in and finally convinced Ryan to come out of the house at about 1 a.m. He was taken into police custody and transported to a hospital with the gunshot wound.

Police, who are continuing to investigate, in a statement said that Ryan was “experiencing a mental health crisis” and could not yet say what charges Ryan might face.



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