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ATF Agent Who Took Own Life Battled with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A little more than a month on the job, ATF agent Jeff Ryan was helping arrest a man with a history of impersonating police officers when all hell broke loose on Aug. 31, 2001, the Syracuse Post-Standard wrote in a report about the incident.

Crouched behind a car, Ryan watched L.A. Deputy Hagop Kuredjian get fatally shot in the head by the suspect, James Allen Beck, who had stockpiled weapons.

Ten years later, Ryan died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the chest.

Turns out, Ryan had been dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder from the incident and was handling complicated emotional problems since the shooting, according to a lengthy report by the Post-Standard.

The paper wrote:

Ryan, 39, suffered severe post traumatic stress disorder from that day. He spent years studying every detail of the shooting and its aftermath. He relentlessly questioned ATF on its handling of the episode, and he suspected retaliation for his persistence.

He felt paranoid. He feared ATF was tracking his every move, from his honeymoon in Fiji to a Syracuse football game.

On Sept. 19, 2011, it all became too much.

That morning he kissed his toddler son and daughter goodbye at their home in Sennett and drove to his mother’s farmland on Onondaga Hill. He texted his wife that he loved her, wrote notes to his family and drove his pickup truck to a favorite spot on the 145-acre property.

He parked his truck so it wouldn’t be visible from the road, laid a bed of hay and shot himself in the chest.

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