Ryan Waller was a young man from Phoenix, Arizona, who became a victim of a brutal crime that left him with severe brain injuries and his girlfriend dead. His story has been widely shared on social media and online platforms, as many people were outraged by the police’s treatment of him as a suspect instead of a survivor. Here is what we know about Ryan Waller, his tragic ordeal, and his eventual death.
The Break-In and Shooting Incident
On December 23, 2006, Ryan Waller and his girlfriend Heather Quan lived in an apartment they shared with another roommate, Alicia, who was not present then. They had only been in the apartment for about a month and a half. Around 2 p.m., they heard someone ringing the doorbell. Ryan got up to see who it was and found Ritchie Carver, a former roommate and friend, and his father, Larry Carver, at the door. Ritchie had a gun in his hand and shot Ryan twice in the head as he tried to close the door. He then entered the apartment and shot Heather dead on the couch. The motive for the attack is unclear, but some sources suggest that it was related to a dispute, a romantic advance, or a robbery attempt.
Ryan survived the shooting but was severely wounded. He had two bullet holes in his head, one of which went through his left eye and damaged his brain. He also had an infection that could have been prevented with proper medical care. However, he received no help for hours, as the police treated him as a murder suspect instead of a victim.
Ryan’s parents became worried when he did not show up for Christmas dinner and went to check on him at his apartment. They knocked on the door, but no one answered. They called the police and reported that something might be wrong. The police arrived at the scene and found Heather’s body and Ryan still alive but incoherent. He said he did not remember what had happened and identified Ritchie Carver and his father as the shooters.
Instead of taking him to the hospital, the police took him to the station and interrogated him for six hours. They did not believe his story and accused him of killing Heather. They also ignored his apparent signs of pain and distress, such as his swollen eye, blood-soaked shirt, and slurred speech. They did not give him medical attention or allow him to contact his family or a lawyer.
It was not until six hours later that he was finally taken to the hospital, where doctors discovered that he had been shot in the head twice. They told his father that he was in critical condition and had an infection that could have been avoided if he had received timely care. He underwent several surgeries to remove parts of his brain and left eye. He also suffered from seizures for years as a result of his injuries1.
The Aftermath and Death
Ryan survived the shooting but never fully recovered from his injuries. He lost some of his memory, vision, and ability to speak clearly. He also struggled with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. He moved back to Tennessee with his father, who cared for him until his death.
Ryan died on July 13, 2007, at the age of 28. His cause of death was listed as complications from seizures related to gunshot wounds to the head. His father sued the Phoenix Police Department for civil rights violations and police misconduct. He claimed they failed to provide Ryan with adequate medical care, violated his constitutional rights, and fabricated evidence against him. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
The actual culprits of the crime were eventually brought to justice. Ritchie Carver was arrested in 2007 and sentenced to life without parole in 2008. Larry Carver was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to life in 2013.
Ryan Waller’s Life
Ryan Waller was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on February 12, 1988. He was the son of Don Waller and an unnamed mother. He grew up in Maricopa County, Arizona, where he attended high school. He was interested in playing guitar and could create new songs on his tune within moments of hearing it. He also loved gadgets and technology.
He met Heather Quan in Phoenix and fell in love with her. They planned to start a new chapter of their life together and moved into an apartment in December 2006. Heather was a 19-year-old student at Arizona State University, where she studied psychology. She was described as an intelligent, kind, and beautiful person by her friends and family.
Ryan and Heather’s lives were cut short by a senseless act of violence that shocked and saddened many people. Their story has been shared online as a reminder of the injustice and tragedy that can happen to anyone. Ryan Waller was a victim, a survivor, and a fighter who deserved better treatment and justice. He is not alive today, but his memory lives on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.