MASSILLON, Ohio-- Police said they were already trying to find Shane Allen Ryan on Sunday when he showed up at the Great Clips hair salon on Indian River Road, S.W. and took an employee hostage.
Massillon Police Chief William Peel said Ryan had left a suicide note with relatives and authorities were trying to locate him by pinging his cell phone.
Peel said Massillon officers already had one encounter on June 9 with Ryan when he was at a friend's house with a knife, also threatening suicide.
"He was despondent; he was suicidal and he had a knife. Our officers engaged in conversation with him on the porch and at that time he did express he was suicidal and we ended up having to taze him to disarm him of the knife," said Peel.
Peel said the search on Sunday was leading authorities to the area of the Great Clips salon when they got their first 911 call about a man who had come in making threats.
"My 8-year-old was in the middle of getting her hair cut and my other two were sitting in the chairs and a younger guy came in and said 'I need to talk to you guys,'" said one caller.
"He said you might want to get your kids out of here. I'm like, excuse me! He said get your kids out of here right now ma'am; so the one girl who was cutting my daughter's hair, I said, let's go. I went to walk out of the door and said can you follow me outside to one of the girls just to see if he would let them leave and he was like they aren't going anywhere. They are staying right here and he was talking to them and said back up, like behind the register part," the caller told police.
A second 911 call was from the husband of an employee.
"My wife just called me and said there's a guy holding her captive with a knife," said the husband.
Peel said as soon as police arrived at the scene, they started a dialogue with Ryan, who was demanding to meet with his girlfriend. She is an employee of the salon but was not there at the time.
"He really wanted to speak with his ex and he was going to go to great lengths to do that, including putting a lot of people at risk," said Peel, adding, "and certainly the girl he held captive was definitely at risk."
"Everything he was trying to do was setting up to see if he could probably force our hand into giving him what he wanted; but there's certain things you are not going to negotiate with someone. There are certain things you are not going to give up," said Peel.
Peel said for about an hour and a half, officers continued to talk with Ryan, but he seemed to become more agitated as he realized his demand was not going to be met.
"The officer in charge made the determination that it was going badly. That's when he started making demands and started putting time restrictions on some demands and it was kind of negotiations were starting to fail," said Peel.
A determination was made that the risk to the hostage was too great.
"Some of the things he said and some of the things he was talking about and some of his actions. Then the officer in charge of the scene made the determination that this hostage is now definitely at risk of serious physical harm; so when you have that determination, when you are looking at the individual being at risk of serious physical harm, you have to take immediate action," said Peel.
Officers with the Stark County S.W.A.T. team entered the salon, shooting Ryan, who died.
His hostage was rescued.
The incident is under investigation by Massillon police.
The way it ended is being investigated by the Stark County Sheriff's Office.
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