(July 10, 2008) A bullet from suicide victim's gun wounds officer by hitting him in the shoulder. The slug passed through the man's head, into the investigator... wounding, not killing him(as anchor stated)
A Brazoria County sheriff's investigator was struck in the shoulder by a bullet from the gun of a man who committed suicide Thursday afternoon.
Brazoria County Sheriff Charles Wagner said Gerald Ryno, 33, of Liverpool, shot himself in the head with a pistol as investigator Jimmy Miller was ordering him to put down the weapon. The bullet that went through Ryno's head struck Miller in the left shoulder.
Deputies stopped Ryno on County Road 227 shortly after noon after getting a report that he had told relatives he was heading to a tall bridge over Bastrop Bayou to kill himself. He was stopped on the rural two-lane road about 1.5 miles before he reached the bridge.
The highway, also known as Hoskins Mound Road, goes through a mainly treeless coastal prairie in eastern Brazoria County. There were no houses near the scene.
Officers closed the road to traffic and tried to get Ryno to get out of the vehicle. Investigators said Ryno appeared to be hysterical and was shouting at officers to shoot him.
Officers saw Ryno raise a pistol and shoot himself in the right side of the head. The bullet struck Miller, who was standing outside the vehicle.
When Miller was shot he fired four bullets from his own gun into Ryno's vehicle, investigators said. A backup officer also fired two shots. Those shots didn't hit anybody.
Miller was taken by helicopter ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. He was later listed in good condition, said hospital spokeswoman Alex Rodriguez.
"He was alert, and he was talking to us," Wagner said of Miller before the investigator left for the hospital.
Miller has worked for the sheriff's department for 12 years and has been an investigator since 2004.
"He's part of the family," Wagner said.
Ryno had a criminal record in Brazoria County, including charges of burglary, unauthorized use of a vehicle and assault, according to county records.
A justice of the peace ruled his death was self-inflicted. His body was taken to the Galveston County Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy.
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