Suspect in Westgate shooting in custody


Tony Webster (Flickr)

The Superior Court courthouse of Maricopa County at 201 West Jefferson Street in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, part of the Judicial Branch of Arizona.

Ivana Venema-Nunez, Reporter

Wednesday night,  Armando Hernandez Jr. allegedly shot and wounded three people at Westgate Entertainment District on Glendale  Ave. and Loop 101 . 

Out of the three victims, one is in critical condition, as of the time the article was posted, one was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening and the third victim was not taken to a hospital, according to a Glendale Police Department tweet.

According to a Washington Post article, when police arrived, the shooting had already ended and officers located the suspect.

Hernandez, age 20, was booked Thursday morning at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and his initial court appearance was scheduled for 11 a.m. according to an AZ Central article published on Thursday. 

“Our officers challenged that suspect and were able to safely take that person into custody,” the spokeswoman, Glendale Officer Tiffany Ngalula, said at a news briefing.

At the time of the publication of these articles, police had no additional information, but the police believe he was working alone. 

Video circulating on social media of the alleged suspect of the shooting seems to be from Hernandez’ Snapchat account, but police could not confirm the person in the video was the suspect, Ngalula said. 

Videos taken by those at Westgate showed people running and scrambling for safety while gunshot sounds echoed. 

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.”

And according to a Facebook live of the court appearance, the council of the court stated that the victim in critical condition was shot in the chest, which caused significant blood lost.  The hospital had difficulties stopping the bleeding and therefore  could not performed surgery.

Hernandez legal council stated they believe Hernandez should go back into the community given he has had no prior criminal history.

The council of the state responded that in their interview with the suspect he had specifically stated that he “wanted to end people” and stated that the suspect had the intent to express his anger at society and that he was specifically targeting couples and “wanted them to feel the pain that he feels every day” according to the council of the state.  

His bond is set to $1 million.

His preliminary hearing is set for May 28.