VIENNA - A woman is dead and a Vienna man taken into custody Friday night after six hours of negotiations with police
Dr. John Ralsten, 74, was taken into custody by Vienna police Friday around 10:30 p.m., six hours after the Wood County 911 Center received a report of an accidental shooting in the 4000 block of Fourth Avenue in Vienna.
Details of the incident remained unclear Friday night, but police confirmed there was a deceased woman inside the residence at 4608 Fourth Ave., the home of Ralsten.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
West Virginia State Police direct traffic away from the shooting scene in Vienna Friday at the intersection of 46th Street and Grand Central Avenue.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Jason Wharton walks back toward the scene of a shooting incident in Vienna Friday after giving an update to West Virginia State Police manning a traffic detour at the intersection of 46th Street and Grand Central Avenue.
"After six hours of negotiations, Dr. John Ralsten is in custody and being transported for evaluation," said Jason Wharton, Wood County prosecutor. "There is a deceased female inside the house."
No charges had been filed as of 11:30 p.m. Friday, Wharton said.
Vienna Police Department, Wood County Sheriff's Office, Vienna Fire Department, the SWAT Team and the West Virginia State Police assisted in the investigation.
Vienna Police Chief George Young said all agencies worked together to reach a resolution.
"The cooperation was outstanding. When we called for help, all available agencies showed up," said Young.
The first responders arrived at the scene around 4:45 p.m., after a report of an accidental shooting. Law enforcement officers surrounded the residence and blocked off 46th Street to 49th Street on Grand Central Avenue from 6:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.
The Wood County Mobile Command Center arrived on the scene around 6:45 p.m.
Several nearby residents gathered at the corner of 46th Street and Grand Central Avenue throughout the evening.
Charli DeLancey, a resident of Fourth Avenue, said she saw police cars driving up Grand Central Avenue when she arrived home from school around 4:30 p.m.
"The whole thing is scary, and no one really knows what's going on," said DeLancey. "I can't remember ever seeing so many police cars."
Wharton said the crime scene unit from the forensics lab in Charleston would arrive at the residence Friday night to recover evidence.
Officials did not release the victim's name or the specifics of the incident.
"The Ralsten family is well-respected in Vienna," said Mayor Dave Nohe, who is also a state senator. "I know his (Dr. Ralsten's) son. They are a wonderful family. I am so sorry this happened," Nohe said.
Nohe said he was thankful the police agencies were able to prevent anyone else from being hurt in the incident.
Dr. John Ralsten and his wife, Carol, were honored at the Mid-Ohio Valley Marshall University Alumni Association's scholarship fundraiser Feb. 24 at the Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna.
The Ralstens cared for youngsters Matt and Molly Ralsten after their parents, Murrill and Helen Ralsten of Huntington, died in the airplane crash near Huntington that killed 75 people, including many members of the Marshall University football team, on Nov. 14, 1970.
Murrill Ralsten was John Ralsten's brother. In an earlier interview with The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, Matt Ralsten and Molly (Ralsten) Muse, who both live out of state, said John and Carol were wonderful parents.