A video shared on social media appeared to show the firsthand perspective of a young man who opened fire in an attack on a Glendale, Arizona, shopping center that has left several hurt.
As ABC 15 in Arizona reported, multiple police agencies responded to the Westgate shopping center on Wednesday evening after reports that at least two people had been shot. Videos taken by people in the area showed a chaotic scene, with many running away from the sound of gunfire and others hunkered down inside businesses.
One video, originally posted to Snapchat and later shared across social media, allegedly showed the shooter as he prepared for the attack. In the clip, a man said he was “going to be the shooter of Westgate” before showing off a long rifle in the back seat of a car. This was followed by a series of videos showing him driving to a shopping plaza, and later walking through the plaza while opening fire. Another clip appeared to show him talking to a woman who was laying on the ground beside a car. It was unclear if the woman was one of the shooting victims.
The young man gave his name in the video, though neither police nor local media have confirmed the identity.
Glendale Police had initially issued a warning to people to stay away from the area, but shortly afterward announced that there was no longer an active shooting and that one suspect was in custody. Video taken from others at the scene showed a large police presence, with officers sweeping the area.
Update: there are no more reports of any active shooting. One suspect is in custody. We are shutting down the Westgate area to ensure everyone is safe. Media staging will be at Cabelas parking lot
— Glendale Police (@GlendaleAZPD) May 21, 2020
Details of the shooting are not yet clear, but witnesses say there are multiple victims. Martin Quezada, an Arizona state senator, took to Twitter to say that he was at the scene of the shooting and saw what he described as an “armed terrorist” with an AR-15 rifle.
“I saw 2 victims with my own eyes. Not sure how many others I saw the shooter,” he wrote. “Being told not to say anything else about details ’til I speak to police. I’m ok. Lots of shaken up people.”
I just witnessed an armed terrorist with an AR-15 shoot up Westgate. There are multiple victims.
— Sen. Martín Quezada (@SenQuezada29) May 21, 2020
The Glendale shooting took place just days after Arizona’s stay-at-home order expired and the first non-essential businesses were able to open. The businesses that were allowed to open remained under some restrictions that limited public gatherings, including rules on how many people could be inside of restaurants.
#Westgate is teeming with law-enforcement right now after at least two people were shot. One suspect in custody.
Unclear how many victims total. No word on a motive.
Police chopper is still overhead @ABC15 pic.twitter.com/GuPwi5QrJL
— Zach Crenshaw (@ZachCrenshaw) May 21, 2020
The shooting in Glendale took place at a popular shopping plaza that includes a mix of stores and restaurants, including some with outdoor seating. Video taken from witnesses of Wednesday’s attack appeared to show a limited number of people at the plaza.
The shopping plaza is owned by YAM Properties, a commercial real-estate company owned by Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy. As AZCentral.com reported, the company released a statement shortly after the shooting.
“We are deeply troubled by this incident and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families,” said Amber Liptai, a company spokesperson. “Westgate will continue to work closely with the Glendale Police Department and in-house security to best ensure the safety of our customers, tenants and residents.”