OHIOVILLE, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania man shot by police during an armed standoff fatally shot himself and wasn't killed by a police sniper, as first believed, the district attorney confirmed Monday.
The suspect, Ryan Shorak, fatally shot himself in the head after he was wounded three times by the police sniper outside his Ohioville home, Beaver County Coroner David Gabauer first announced Sunday.
The crime scene and every bullet fired by Shorak and police who responded to the standoff last week are now under investigation, Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier told The Associated Press on Monday.
Shorak "was in communication with the SWAT team negotiators. He was belligerent. He was making threats the whole time, threatened to kill the officers," Lozier said after the coroner's announcement Sunday, explaining why the state police sniper opted to shoot Shorak shortly before 6 a.m. Friday.
By that time, police had obtained an arrest warrant charging Shorak with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and other crimes for firing at officers as they arrived after Shorak's wife called to report a domestic dispute the previous night.
She told police that Shorak had been drinking and threatened her, so she ran outside to a car, locked the door, and phoned 911 about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.
Four officers — two from Ohioville, one from nearby Midland, and a Beaver County sheriff's deputy — were outside the house when Shorak opened fire about 11:15 p.m. None of the officers were wounded and they returned fire, but it's not believed Shorak was wounded at that time, Lozier said Monday.
Shorak was holding a semiautomatic weapon when he began to threaten to shoot police again, Lozier said.
That's when a state police sniper fired three shots and knocked Shorak down. At the time, authorities assumed he had been killed by the sniper fire, Lozier said.
But an autopsy revealed that he had been killed by a .40-caliber pistol, which Shorak held against his head, apparently just after he was wounded by the sniper, Lozier said.
The autopsy showed Shorak was hit by all three rounds the sniper fired, one causing a non-fatal chest wound and two that hit Shorak in the hip, Lozier said.
Once police were able to enter the home, they found weapons near most doors and windows, Lozier said.