Arizona Central reports:
On one of the first nights that Arizonans were able to leave their homes to enjoy the shops and restaurants that had been shuttered for weeks by COVID-19, one of the state’s signature dining districts was struck by a foe from pre-pandemic times: an active shooter.
Police said three people were shot Wednesday night at the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, a usually brightly lit outdoor center filled with restaurants and bars near the stadium where the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals play and the arena that hosts the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.
One person was in critical condition; the other two people were treated for lesser injuries. A shooter was taken into custody, police said.
The Phoenix New Times reports:
“I’m going to be the shooter of Westgate 2020.” Those are the words of a young man who apparently uploaded a video to Snapchat before the shooting, according to a Snapchat video posted on Twitter at 9:01 p.m.
The video appears to be real. The man, behind the wheel of a vehicle, gives his name as Armando Junior Hernandez and displays a rifle in the backseat. He says, “This is to get back to (inaudible) society, so, let’s get this done.”
He seems to park the vehicle at Westgate, says, “Let’s get this done, guys.” Strangely, he films himself wearing a protective mask as he again displays his rifle. The video then shows two scenes from what appear to be the shooter’s point of view. He shoots in a breezeway and near escalators.
The Washington Post reports:
Arizona state Sen. Martín Quezada (D) said on Twitter that he was in the area and had “just witnessed an armed terrorist with an AR-15” carry out the shooting. Police could not confirm the type of weapon used.
“I saw 2 victims with my own eyes,” Quezada wrote. “I saw the shooter. Being told not to say anything else about details ’til I speak to police. I’m ok. Lots of shaken up people.”
Other videos taken by those at Westgate showed people scrambling for safety, with sounds of booming gunfire and screaming babies in the background.
Platforms are removing copies of the shooter’s video.