ARIZONA NEWS

Retired Arizona Department of Corrections boss Charles Ryan facing charges after shooting self

Jan 7, 2022, 4:00 PM

FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2010, file photo, Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan s...

FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2010, file photo, Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan speaks at a news conference in Phoenix. Ryan is blaming a medical services contractor for a failure to follow through on promises to improve health care for inmates when the state settled a lawsuit over inmate care. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

PHOENIX — Retired Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan is facing charges after he shot himself and pointed a gun at officers at his Tempe home Thursday night, authorities said.

Officers responded to reports of a self-inflicted gunshot wound near Warner and Terrace roads at about 9:30 p.m. and were told Ryan was armed inside his home and was possibly injured, the Tempe Police Department said.

Police attempted to communicate with Ryan after his wife and adult daughter left the house, but were initially unsuccessful.

Eventually, Ryan opened a door from the house to the garage and pointed a gun at officers, police said.

Officers attempted to use less lethal force on Ryan but he retreated into his house, according to police.

A short time later, Ryan exited the house and was taken into custody without incident.

Ryan was taken to a hospital and remains there with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his hand.

Police said he will face criminal charges after his release.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Ryan, who retired in 2019, spent more than 10 years as corrections director and was under fire for his handling of state prison system issues toward the end of his tenure.

There were calls for Ryan to step down in his final months after reports of how he addressed the issue of broken locks on cells at the Lewis Prison in Buckeye.

There were several assaults of inmates and correctional officers because of the lock failures.

In response, Ryan reportedly ordered some cells to be padlocked, despite it being a violation of fire codes.

ABC15 reported that Ryan had been aware of the broken locks since May 2018 but chose to spend millions meant to repair them and security on other projects.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Retired Arizona Department of Corrections boss Charles Ryan facing charges after shooting self