On Wednesday evening, law enforcement responded to an active shooter at the Westgate Entertainment District shopping center in Glendale, Arizona. Not too long after arriving on the soon, Glendale officers took the suspected shooter into custody and identified him as Armando “Junior” Hernandez. The shooting left three people injured with one in critical care.
According to his mother, Hernandez is 20 years old and he grew up in Peoria, Arizona, which is about 4 miles north of Glendale. Hernandez attended Raymond S. Kellis High School in Glendale.
A high school classmate said that Hernandez was “anti-government” and he would post on social media videos of himself shooting an AR15 assault rifle. In the clips, the suspect reportedly even said that he’d be the one to shoot up Westgate.
“I didn’t expect that he was actually going to do that,” said the classmate who remained anonymous. “But I used to see him around campus a lot you know during lunch, during in the mornings and stuff. I used to eat lunch with him sometimes you know…off and on. And, you know, always in trouble. Unbelievable. In a million years never knew he was going to do that.”
Video of the shooting was reportedly uploaded to social media by Hernandez. A 41-second clip, which seemed to be edited, shows the person on camera in different clothes and settings before it cut to footage of a gun being fired in what seemed to be a dark hallway.
12 News anchor, Mitch Carr, said he spoke to the suspect’s mother and she said, “I have no idea why he did this.” Carr said his mother “drove over to Westgate when her younger son told her ‘Armando’s going crazy.'”
After the suspect was in custody, law enforcement eventually began searching his house early Thursday morning. The story is still developing.
Arizona State Sen. Martín Quezada tweeted that he was present at the Westgate Entertainment District and witnessed the gunman, who he described as “an armed terrorist with an AR-15.” He said he saw two victims.
Arizona governor, Doug Ducey, said law enforcement and government officials have been monitoring the situation closely. “Our hearts and prayers are with the individuals and families impacted tonight, as well as the first responders and police officers who are on the scene,” he tweeted. “The state is here to continue to offer its full support to the victims and to the community.”