Ryan Giroux has been identified as the Phoenix shooting suspect who police say opened fire in many locations across the suburb of Mesa, leaving at least one dead and several injured.
The shooting began early in the day on Wednesday, with the suspect reportedly striking in several different locations.
Details were light at first, with police releasing only a vague description of the suspect as a bald white man in his 40s with a tattoo on his neck. Pictures of Giroux shared online show him with several tattoos, including an 88 on his face that is common among Neo Nazi groups. The 88 symbolizes the eighth letter of the alphabet, HH, which stands for “Heil Hitler.”
Police were also unsure of the number of victims at first, with media initially reporting that four had been shot and later saying five shot including one dead.
“We could have more at this time,” Mesa Detective Esteban Flores. “We just don’t know.”
The shooting spree started at a hotel and then moved to a restaurant and nearby apartment complex, with several injuries in each location.
The crime spree included a carjacking and a home invasion, with police saying that at least some of the attacks appeared to be random.
Former Phoenix police officer and law enforcement Paul Penzone said in an interview with 12 News that the many shooting locations posed a problem for investigators. He said police had the difficult task of trying to stabilize the crime scenes and preserve evidence while also gathering information as quickly as possible to find the suspect.
Penzone said that many other people could still be in danger.
“Desperation could come into form, as they try to get away from what he just did and avoid incarceration,” Penzone said. “He could be doing things like carjacking to continue this spree of violence.”
The Mesa shooting spree also caused a number of institutions and businesses to go into lockdown mode.
“Several locations in the area were placed on lockdown amid a heavy law enforcement presence, including police searching car trunks and interviewing witnesses,” the Associated Press noted. “The Arizona Department of Public Safety sent its SWAT team to Mesa to assist with the effort, DPS spokesman Bart Graves said. Scottsdale police are also sending SWAT and canine units.”
The shooting led to a widespread manhunt, with Mesa police searching trunks of cars and interviewing witnesses while searching for suspect Ryan Giroux.
“If we have to go door-to-door, we will,” Detective Esteban Flores said.
The shooting also prompted a response from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.
“Right now, our hearts and prayers are with the people of Mesa, the individuals affected by this tragedy, and all law enforcement and first responders working to assist the victims,” Ducey said.
Though police have not yet release details on Phoenix shooting suspect Ryan Giroux, his identity was confirmed by several Arizona news outlets.
[Image via Twitter]