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Police draw fire in New Castle, Hempfield standoffs

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By Tony LaRussa and Renatta Signorini
Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Domestic disputes led to a pair of incidents in Western Pennsylvania during the past two days in which suspects fired at police officers.

In New Castle, Lawrence County, an armed man involved in a standoff with police early Friday was critically wounded by officers when he came out of his house and began firing at them, according to authorities.

A man from Hempfield, Westmoreland County, was arrested for allegedly firing at least 17 shots through the walls, windows and doors of his home during a standoff with state troopers that began late Thursday.

The New Castle incident began around 9:30 p.m. Thursday when Ivy J. Lanthier Jr., 43, went into the bedroom of his daughter and her boyfriend carrying a handgun and shotgun and fired both weapons into the ceiling, police said.

Lanthier ordered his daughter, his wife and an unidentified girl out of the house on Montgomery Avenue and held his daughter's boyfriend, Lawrence Threats, 29, at gunpoint.

After a standoff that lasted about 2 12 hours, officers shot Lanthier multiple times when he came out of the house and began firing at them, authorities said.

Four officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave, and the investigation was turned over to state police, which is standard procedure in police-involved shootings, authorities said.

Lanthier, who is in St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio, faces charges including aggravated assault, unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

The standoff in Hempfield began late Thursday when Dawn Ryan fled to a neighbor's home along Antler Lane because her intoxicated husband threatened to kill her, according to court documents.

During a 2 12-hour standoff with state police that began about 10:30 p.m., Daniel Lee Ryan, 44, fired at least 17 rounds from a pair of 9 mm handguns, police said. Nobody was injured.

When Ryan failed to respond to a police negotiating team, troopers lobbed tear gas into the house, and he came out unarmed.

“In this instance, (tear gas) worked very effectively,” said Trooper Steve Limani. “The outcome might've been a lot different if he came out with a firearm.”

Ryan was charged with 17 counts each of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment and a single count of terroristic threats.

“This shooting in New Castle and the other incidents in Pittsburgh and Westmoreland County really illustrate how dangerous a police officer's job can be,” New Castle Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo said. “I really applaud them for what they do and the risks they face.”

Tony LaRussa and Renatta Signorini are staff writers for Trib Total Media. LaRussa can be reached at 412-320-7987 or writer Jewels Phranercontributed to this report.

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