|Birth: ||Jun. 26, 1967|
|Death: ||Aug. 26, 1994|
On August 26, 1994, Officer Ryan responded to what appeared to be a routine "slumper" call - a complaint about a man sleeping in a car in a church parking lot on the east side of St. Paul. Even though he was nearing the end of his shift, Officer Ryan volunteered to take the call when the first officer at the scene had to leave for a higher priority call. Officer Ryan approached the vehicle and woke the sleeper, who then identified himself as Guy Harvey Baker. As Officer Ryan was returning to his patrol car to check the suspect's identification, Baker shot him from behind with a gun he had hidden underneath his coat. The suspect, who had a warrant for his arrest, then took Officer Ryan's gun and shot him several more times. Officer Ryan was rushed to a hospital but died of his wounds. The suspect fled the scene, triggering a massive manhunt as he was pursued by St. Paul police officers with their highly trained K-9 dogs. Among them was Officer Timothy James Jones who had the day off but volunteered to help search for Baker with his K-9 partner, Laser. Baker was hiding in an ice fishing shack and Laser picked up his scent. When Officer Jones and Laser approached the shack, Baker shot and killed Officer Jones with Officer Ryan's service weapon. He left the fish house and was attacked by Laser. He shot Laser four times and then took Officer Jones' service weapon. He doubled back on his direction and hid the Officers' weapons under the porch of a house. He hid underneath a pile of lumber and rubbish next to a porch two houses away where he was apprehended.
The deaths of Officers Ryan and Jones and his K9 partner Laser shook the community and the state. Lines surrounded the funeral homes during the wakes and both had to be extended by hours. Up to 1,500 squad cars participated in the funeral processions; in both cases, squads had not yet left the church when the lead cars were being parked at the cemetery. Children and families lined the routes with flags, buntings, and signs saying "We love you." For three days the community simply stopped as they mourned their loss.
Officer Ron Ryan Jr., Badge Number 313, was only 26 years of age when he came to the end of his watch. He had joined the St. Paul Police Department on July 23, 1990 as a Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO). His life's ambition was to follow in the footsteps of his father, Lt. Ron Ryan, Sr. It didn't take long for Ron Jr. to begin to make his mark. His tour of duty was one year and six months. Only five months earlier, he had been awarded the Medal of Merit for rescuing three children from a house fire. The following words are from his obituary:
"Within six months he had already received a letter from a citizen for his excellent work. In late 1992, he received a Class C Commendation as a PEO for trailing some burglary suspects until squads could arrive and effect the arrest. Such an award for a PEO is almost unheard of. He was appointed to police officer status on January 23, 1993. By the end of the year, barely out of training, he and a couple of his fellow officers received Class B Commendations for forming a human pyramid and saving several young children at a house fire. In the meantime, the letters and cards of appreciation from citizens and the Department just kept rolling in. For a young police officer, he was certainly making a mark early. These accomplishments aside, they really tell us very little about the man. To put it simply, Ron Ryan, Jr. was an exceptional young man. To be sure, as he was growing up he tested his parents, as all kids will do. But by the time Ron was ready to face the world on his own terms, he decided to make a difference. He became the quintessential son that any man would be proud to call his son. Whenever Ron Jr. was around, he lit up a room. He had a zest for life that infected those around him. He was always willing to help others and he truly enjoyed people of all ages. Ron gave more than he took and he reminded us all that life was worth living."
Officer Ryan was survived by his wife and parents.
Plot: Block 31, Lot 734
Created by: Cindy K. Coffin
Record added: Mar 07, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34543773