Wife threatened, officers fired on in Mt. Hermon

Published 11:47 pm Sunday, November 17, 2013

At approximately 9:30 a.m., Sunday the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call concerning an individual who had threatened his wife and fired weapons inside the house.

Deputies and detectives responded to the resident of Johnnie A. Ryals, age 56, Louisiana Highway 438, Mt. Hermon.

When officers arrived they learned the wife had fled the home and Ryals was outside the home armed with at least seven weapons (six long guns and one semi-automatic pistol).

Deputies and investigators took positions around the house. A Sheriff’s Office sniper arrived at the scene and also took a strategic position in front of Ryals.

Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office officials said Ryals was belligerent and hostile, yelling claims that ObamaCare had deprived him of insurance benefits and he could not get his medicine.

During his tirade, Ryals pointed a rifle in the direction of deputies more than once, threatening to shoot them each time.

A Sheriff’s Office deputy and a negotiator engaged Ryals in conversation, attempting to convince him to surrender peacefully. Ryals continued to be belligerent and yelling obscenities at the officers.

Ryals once again raised his weapon and pointed it directly at deputies, again threatening to shoot them. At that time, the sniper shot Ryals one time, striking him in the left ear., according to authorities.

Ryals continued to struggle after he fell and once again was pointing a weapon at deputies as they subdued him.

Deputies subdued Ryals ,and he was transported by Northshore EMS to Riverside Medical Center in Franklinton.

Ryals’ wife was safely lodged at the home of a neighbor.

Also transported to Riverside Medical Center was one deputy who was being treated for exposure to a possible bloodborne pathogen from the blood of Ryals. The deputy was treated and released.

Once Ryals is released from treatment, he will be transported to the Washington Parish Jail.

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal, who was at the scene, stated, “This is yet another example of the extreme danger our officers face daily. What started out as a peaceful Sunday morning ended with gunfire, all because of the reckless behavior of one individual who displayed a total disregard for the safety and welfare of others. Our officers responded promptly and did an excellent job.”