Hempfield shooting suspect now facing attempted murder charges
Investigators filed new charges Friday against a Hempfield man accused of firing 17 shots at state troopers last week during a standoff.
Daniel Lee Ryan, 44, of 122 Antler Lane was arraigned Friday morning and now faces six counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer in addition to 17 counts each of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment and a single count of terroristic threats.
Assistant District Attorney James Lazar said the attempted homicide charges are a result of the continued investigation.
“Once they did further investigating they felt this was appropriate,” Lazar said. “They didn't want to overcharge” in Ryan's original arrest on Oct. 12.
State police said Ryan allegedly fired 17 shots through the walls, windows and doors of his home at a dozen troopers outside between 10:30 p.m. Oct. 11 and 1:06 a.m. Oct. 12.
A new criminal complaint filed Friday by Trooper John Zalich said six of the troopers “felt they were being targeted by the defendant while he was shooting.”
On Oct. 16, troopers investigating inside the home determined Ryan was firing while sitting on the floor in his bedroom doorway.
Six shots through the front door appeared to be at chest- and head-height, police said. Additional shots were determined to be directed at troopers who were attempting to illuminate the house with lights from their patrol vehicles, the affidavit states.
No one was injured during the standoff.
Trooper Steve Limani said investigators had enough evidence to hold Ryan in jail until consulting with the district attorney's office about the attempted homicide charges.
“You don't just charge something like that without sitting down with a district attorney,” Limani said.
At his first arraignment, Ryan told reporters the incident was “a misunderstanding” and that he was depressed. His attorney, Brian Aston, could not be reached for comment Friday.
Police responded to a call from a neighbor's home on Antler Lane at about 10:30 p.m. Oct. 11. Dawn Ryan had fled there after her intoxicated husband allegedly threatened to kill her, according to the affidavit.
Troopers made phone contact with Daniel Ryan and asked him to come outside. Instead, he allegedly started shooting from inside his home with two .9 mm handguns.
When Ryan didn't respond to a negotiations team, troopers lobbed tear gas into the house. Ryan eventually surrendered unarmed and was treated for tear gas exposure, police said.
Nearby roads, including Toll Route 66 between the Harrison City and Jeannette exits, were closed during the incident and homes were evacuated.
Ryan's bond was set at $500,000 Friday by District Judge Joseph DeMarchis. Ryan told DeMarchis during his Oct. 12 arraignment that he has been a caseworker with the state Department of Public Welfare for six years and that he and his wife had lived at the home for five years.
The charges filed Oct. 12 have been withdrawn and are replaced by Friday's filing. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 29.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Rutherford falling apart, too
- Brentwood Borough School Board approves major cutbacks
- Rangers clip Penguins, take 2-1 series lead
- Steelers receiver Brown skipping voluntary offseason workouts
- Trade Institute of Pittsburgh helps rebuild lives of ex-convicts
- Scoring struggles linger for Penguins 2nd line
- Former undercover agent files suit against Kane
- Pittsburgh man taken for wild ride on Route 28
- Methane leaks reportedly decrease in Pennsylvania
- Paragon Foods’ growth, planned move in line with local produce demand
- Cubs’ rookie third baseman Bryant helps send Pirates to defeat