Ryan Whidden faces charges following an intense 12-hour standoff Monday that brought multiple police agencies and emergency vehicles to a quiet village neighborhood. Whidden is due in Victor Town Court 1 p.m. Thursday before Justice Thomas Toby Reh.
A man faces charges following an intense 12-hour standoff Monday that brought multiple police agencies and emergency vehicles to a quiet village neighborhood.
Ryan Whidden, 31, of 34 Ketchum St., was charged last night following the standoff, Sheriff Phil Povero said this morning. Whidden is due in Victor Town Court 1 p.m. Thursday before Justice Thomas Toby Reh.
He was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon related to possessing a loaded handgun without having a pistol permit.
Whidden and his wife, Nina Whidden, 45, quietly exited house in the Jacobs Landing neighborhood shortly after 8:30 p.m., surrendering to law enforcement officers without incident.
It was not clear as of Tuesday morning a motive for Ryan Whidden's behavior. Povero said it is still being investigated as a possible “barricaded subject, hostage situation.”
Povero said Tuesday afternoon that investigators are continuing their investigation, including executing search warrants on the home and vehicles at 34 Ketchum St. and investigating Ryan's background.
Ryan used a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, said Povero. He was taken to Ontario County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail or $500,000 bond. Additional charges including reckless endangerment are pending.
Nina Whidden does not face any charges and is now staying with her family, Povero said. Also living in the house was Nina’s 17-year-old son by a previous marriage. The teen was out of the house before police arrived Monday morning, Povero said.
No explosives were found in the house and no one was hurt during the 12-hour siege that began when a 911 caller alerted police at about 9:30 a.m. that a man had fired three shots from outside the house in the Jacobs Landing neighborhood on the south side of the village into two vehicles in the man’s driveway.
Povero said law enforcement is working in the house today in a forensic investigation.
Povero said Ryan Whidden is a military veteran and it is not known if he suffered from any mental or other conditions related to his service.
Shortly after the first report of gun shots, another 911 call reported the man had exited the back door of the house and fired a round into the air, Povero said. Multiple attempts to reach the man via phone and bullhorn failed as multiple emergency response teams worked all day in the neighborhood. Nearby residents were contacted and evacuated.
Finally, tear gas was used to force the couple out of the house. Police said numerous shots were fired inside the house throughout the evening.
More than seven hours after the first shots were reported, at about 5 p.m., three shots were fired inside the home, Povero said, with one shot exiting the home through a window.
The tear gas and “flash bangs” were used to distract the couple while law enforcement introduced a robot to the home to do surveillance, Povero said.
Page 2 of 3 - “We’re always cautious when deploying these types of gases,” he said. “There’s always a risk of fire. At that point we felt the gas could be effective, and it was.”
Two dogs that were in the home were also retrieved and are safe.
The Monroe County Bomb Squad conducted a sweep of the residence, and police are investigating a knapsack that was found in the entryway.
No police officers fired any shots during the incident. RG&E personnel were also brought in to give technical advice on how to cut electrical power to the home. They did also manually shut down the gas supply to the home.
The day was a long and stressful one for those living in the area, a neighborhood described as friendly and family-oriented.
Coville Street resident Heather Dimora was out walking her dog when she saw the police vehicles swarming her neighborhood. “This doesn’t happen in Victor,” she said. “This is a small town — everyone knows each other.”
Woodworth Street resident Debbie Bugbee was on Facebook when she learned of the standoff.
“It’s very quiet family-friendly, family-oriented neighborhood,” Bugbee said. “Barking dogs are the biggest noise we have. I guess in this day and age you can’t be shocked, though. Things like this happen in every neighborhood.”
Ketchum Street was blocked off, and many of those living in the Jacobs Landing neighborhood were contacted via reverse 911 and evacuated for safety precautions. Christine Hood spent the day watching and waiting from inside her Walling Street home.
“It was a little nerve-wracking knowing what was going on outside,” said Hood. “It’s not our neighborhood — that just doesn’t happen here. It was really surreal to see all of the SWAT gear and listening on the radio to all the maneuvering. Listening to all that — to think that it’s happening outside your door was really odd.”
Hood said her biggest concern was getting in touch with her kids at school. Victor school administrators declared a lockout throughout the day as a safety precaution. School dismissal took place as usual, but students living in Jacobs Landing were picked up at the school. Hood was relieved and pleased to get a personal call and pickup directions from the principals of both of the schools her children attend, she said.
One local church just a few blocks away from the Ketchum Street home stepped up throughout the day — St. Patrick’s Church on Maple Avenue.
“We got the news this morning when preschool was in session, so we had 30-35 kids here,” said St. Patrick’s director of faith formation and preschool, Nora Bradbury-Haehl. “First we heard the neighborhood was shut down and then we heard there was a shooter. I just kind of went through in my head and thought ‘where in the building would be the safest?’ So we brought them down to church because the windows are nice and high.”
Page 3 of 3 - Bradbury-Haehl said staff and children reacted quickly and calmly.
“The teachers got the kids’ coats and backpacks and we marched them down there,” she said. “I grabbed my guitar and we sang a couple of songs and then dismissed on the far side of the building.”
Firefighter Jason Shelton was just heading home from the Victor Fire Station late Monday night when he shared his thoughts on the events of the day.
“As a resident it scares me that this can happen,” said Shelton. “You don’t think these sort of things would happen in the village of Victor. It’s pretty peaceful and calm — usually traffic and parking is the biggest thing going on. So it shakes you, but the good guys did what they needed to do, and everything worked exactly as it’s supposed to, it appears.”