Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Jan. 7-9

Jan 9, 2022, 6:00 PM

PHOENIX — The former director of the Arizona Department of Corrections was arrested after shooting himself and pointing a gun at officers, Oregano’s has temporarily closed two Valley locations due to staffing shortages, and a man arrested in Phoenix faces charges of aggravated assault on an officer after breaking into a store.

Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.

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

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.

Oregano’s closes two locations in Tempe, Scottsdale until April

As businesses around the nation are struggling to get a handle on maintaining operations amid a surge of omicron variant cases, Oregano’s has temporarily closed two Valley locations.

The Tempe restaurant on University Drive and Mill Avenue and the Scottsdale location on Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard are two of the 22 locations across Arizona to close until April. No official opening date has been announced.

“We are not immune to the current challenges facing all businesses, particularly as it relates to maintaining an adequate level of team members who can deliver on that promise,” a statement from the Oregano’s website said.

Man arrested in Phoenix for breaking into store, aggravated assault on officer

A man has been arrested in Phoenix after breaking into a store Friday night and faces charges of aggravated assault on an officer, authorities said Saturday.

Officers responded to a break-in near 51st Avenue and Baseline Road shortly before midnight after witnesses saw Matthew Bia, 27, break into a store, police said in a press release.

An officer asked the suspect to come out, but Bia refused to leave the store that had been equipped with surveillance footage, police said.

Bia reached to his waistband and extended his hand out in a fast manner toward the officer, leading the officer with an activated body camera to fire a single round, police said.

Police arrest and book suspect after shooting incident in Surprise

Surprise police arrested and booked 58-year-old Gary Wood into the Maricopa County Jail after a shooting in the area of Kings Drive and Austin Avenue on Friday.

Police responded to a 911 call from a woman at approximately 10:35 a.m. who said her boyfriend shot her adult son, authorities said.

Officers arrived at the scene and found the victim with an abdominal gunshot wound.

He was transported to a hospital in the West Valley to receive medical attention, authorities said.

Wood was booked on one count of aggravated assault with a firearm, a Class 3 felony, authorities said.

Valley real estate investor Pollack sells 5 shopping centers; makes way for affordable housing

Five shopping centers around the Valley have been sold, with one in Tempe making way for affordable housing and retail.

Michael A. Pollack Real Estate Investments finalized the sale on two centers in Mesa and one in Phoenix, Peoria and Tempe in the fourth quarter of 2021, with sales totaling more than $32 million, the real estate investor announced in a press release Thursday.

Most of the centers had been in Pollack’s portfolio since the 1990s and sold for $2.4-to-$11.2 million, the release said.

“This has been the best year we’ve seen in commercial real estate since 2006 and 2007,” Pollack said in the release.

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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Jan. 7-9