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Former corrections director arrested after armed standoff, police say

Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan
Alexandra Olgin/KJZZ
file | staff
Charles Ryan in 2018.

Former Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan was arrested at a Tempe home after a brief armed standoff with police, the Tempe Police Department said Friday afternoon.

Police say officers were called to a home near Warner and Rural roads around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday for “reports of a subject with possible self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

Ryan was armed inside the home when police arrived, and his wife and daughter had exited the residence, police said.

Police say Ryan opened a door inside the garage and “pointed what officers determined to be a gun at officers” who were standing behind an armored vehicle. Officers “attempted to use less lethal force and made clear announcements for his surrender, which [was] unsuccessful,” Tempe police said. Ryan then went back inside the house, police said. 

Tempe police’s tactical team and negotiators were called to the scene.

Ryan exited the home a short time later and was taken into custody. He had a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the hand, according to the police statement. Ryan was still in the hospital for the wound on Friday under police watch, police said.

The incident is under investigation.

Ryan retired from the Arizona Department of Corrections in 2019.

Senior digital editor Sky Schaudt joined KJZZ in 2015. Prior to working at KJZZ, Schaudt was a digital news editor at azcentral.com for nearly a decade.