Arizona Glendale Westgate Shooting
The Westgate retail district is closed off Thursday, May 21, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. Police say one person is in critical condition and two others were injured in a shooting Wednesday evening near the shopping and entertainment district west of Phoenix. A Glendale police spokeswoman said Wednesday that the suspect was taken into custody safely. (AP Photo/Matt York)
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By Jacques Billeaud and Terry Tang, AP

A gunman who opened fire at a suburban Phoenix restaurant and retail complex, injuring three people, wanted to target shoppers in retaliation for bullying he had suffered, authorities said Thursday.

“He said that he went to Westgate to target victims. He wanted to gain some respect, and he felt that he had been bullied in his life,” Glendale Police Sgt. Randy Stewart said at a news conference.

Armando Hernandez Jr., 20, also later admitted to detectives that he intended to harm 10 people.

“I don’t know why the suspect decided 10 people,” Stewart said.

The shooting happened about 7:25 p.m. Wednesday in Glendale’s Westgate Entertainment District, which reopened last week after shutting down more than a month ago because of the coronavirus pandemic. Officers were on the scene within five minutes of the first 911 calls, authorities said. Hernandez was taken into custody without incident upon being confronted by police.

Authorities say Hernandez wounded a 19-year-old adult man, who remains hospitalized in critical condition. A 16-old-girl was also taken to a hospital, but with non-life-threatening injuries. A third victim, a 30-year-old woman, did not require hospitalization, Stewart said.

Armando Hernandez Jr
20-year-old Armando Hernandez Jr. (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Hernandez, who lives in the neighboring suburb of Peoria, is facing more than a dozen felony charges. It was not immediately known if he had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.

State Sen. Martin Quezada was at the complex during the shooting and wrote on Twitter that he witnessed a person “with an AR-15 shoot up Westgate.”

In a statement Thursday, the Democratic lawmaker said he was “beyond horrified what I saw with my own eyes.” He then called for more gun control.

“Civilians should not have access to these types of weapons and be able to walk into a mall to destroy people’s lives in a matter of seconds,” Quezada said.

Police would only confirm a black assault rifle was recovered, and the suspect had loaded three magazines to capacity. Investigators have also searched his car and his home.

Authorities also confirmed the authenticity of a Snapchat video in which the suspect appears to be discussing his plans and showing a rifle in the back seat of his car. Investigators are asking for anyone with firsthand knowledge of more videos to contact police.

Video posted on social media showed people running from the area and scenes of people embracing each other after being reunited.

Eliana Rivera, a sales associate at a pottery painting store, posted on Twitter that she and a co-worker heard police running and helicopters overhead as they huddled in the back of the business, the Arizona Republic reported.

“It’s just unreal,” Rivera said. “You see it on the news. It happens and you never really think that you would be put in that position. You just think, ‘What are the chances that that will happen?’ — and it did.”

Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers urged the public, already on edge about the pandemic, to not be afraid to patronize struggling businesses.

“Please don’t give in to fear. Don’t allow senseless acts like this to change your habits,” Weiers said. “We have a safe city.”

Police were still searching the area for evidence Thursday morning. A tow truck hauled away a white car about 4 a.m.

The area includes a stadium for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and hockey arena for the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. ____

Associated Press writers Jonathan J. Cooper and Paul Davenport in Phoenix contributed to this report.

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  1. See how much respect he gets from Bubba in the middle of night… By prison standards he’s a “keeper”…

        • PRISONERS run prisons. The staff is there to prevent escapes and to keep as many as possible from killing each other.

          The FIRST thing they do is seperate by RACE. This is very telling. It sayes that DIVERSITY IS BULLSHIT.

          Flush out your headgear, son.

        • No, it just proves that poorly supervised criminals exhibit extreme reactions to normal social situations. That’s why they’re incarcerated.

          Properly socialized neuro-typicals have no difficulty experiencing social situations that involve people of different races, genders and ages.

        • “They have racial separation in prison.“

          No. They don’t. That’s illegal under federal law.

        • “That’s illegal under federal law.”

          Yet, they’re implementing it in universities. Any university that participates in that should immediately be cut off from public funding.

        • With racial separation, that still does mean he will be in the same cell block as MS-13 gang members. Their slogan is “rape, kill, control.”

          He certainly has some cushion for the pushin’, so I’m sure he will be in “good” hands.

    • Boomer advocates prison rape. Disgusting.

      We need to return to Christ if we want to keep our guns. This is a tragedy: the fact our immigration authorities failed us, the sadness this man felt, the destruction of our gun right that will follow, the shooting victims lives destroyed…

      We must pray for this to end. We need Christ centered 2A activism.

      • “Boomer advocates prison rape. Disgusting.”

        First of all stating a FACT (that prison rapes DO happen) is NOT advocating, condoning or otherwise speaking out in favor of that practice, much like pointing out that you are an ignorant, shit-for-brains nobody is advocating for your ignorance… The fact that I AM a “Boomer” being born in 1949, merely means that I received a high school education that is equal to a two year college degree today and I grew up knowing what playing outside with friends means as well as the meaning of hard work and that in competition SOMEONE has to lose (before the “everybody gets a trophy” bullshit)… So dump your loser ass troll crap on someone who gives a fuck because “Boomers” were also taught that fillers like you were put here to amuse us, to be ridiculed and then ignored….

  2. “It’s just unreal,” Rivera said. “You see it on the news. It happens and you never really think that you would be put in that position. You just think, ‘What are the chances that that will happen?’ — and it did.”

    THIS ^^^^^ is why I carry.

    • Exactly.

      And why dont the demoncrats call to ban cars after terrorists use them to mow people down???

      Answer: because gun control is about squashing the peasants. AKA, people control, not gun control

      • My experience it is just as much because those legislators and most of the general public has no experience with any guns. Let alone the guns in question. Most of the public and probably all legislators have driven a car before. Many even trucks. They aren’t scary for the vast majority of them. But guns are, because they have zero experience and just watch action movies. Sure for some its about control, but most its real fear because they don’t know anything and assume the worst.

    • I can only wonder if the author of the other article today (the person who finally purchased his first firearm and says that he does not need nor want to carry it now) will see the truth in this story.

  3. “Civilians should not have access to these types of weapons and be able to walk into a mall to destroy people’s lives in a matter of seconds,” Quezada said.

    Civilians are the problem, got it. We need some civilian control, civilians are dangerous, unruly, menacing… Especially the ones with legs because they can walk into malls. Ban legs!

    Hmm, I thought maybe Mr. A.H. was the problem here, but I guess we are busy trying to give him a platform to get some respect and feel better about himself, I mean he is the real victim here. Those mean civilians bullied him! If only he couldn’t get any guns, he would just be teaching online Zoom art classes to kids and helping old ladies cross the street.

    • “If only he couldn’t get any guns”

      But it isn’t any guns. It’s “these types of weapons” You know, the scary black ones, because it’s impossible to walk into a mall with a measly handgun and do any damage. Well, actually, the scary black ones are just the easiest ones to ban. For now.

      • Exactly why I am currently shopping for a nice, peaceful, powder-blue or daisy-yellow Duracoat for my AR’s. To make them kinder and gentler, first, a new outer appearance that does not say “Evil Black Rifle” all over it.

        I am also thinking maybe some stickers of duckies and bunnies …. for the magazines at least.

        Hey, it worked for Hello Kitty!!!

        • First, there is no such thing as ‘assault weapons’
          Second, assault rifle are already banned.

    • “Civilians should not have access to these types of weapons and be able to walk into a mall to destroy people’s lives in a matter of seconds,” Quezada said.

      That’s the voice of the coming majority. (Please read to see how demographic trends will drive gun control.)

      When Chief Censor rants about “white supremacists” and the “alt right,” what he means is that he deeply resents living in a country where he’s a minority, and he looks forward to the day whites become a minority even if that means we all lose our 2nd Amendment rights.

      • Keep dreaming. There are other dynamics at play in this great country. More people are waking up and demanding their civil rights be respected. And the core right of all people is self-defense from attack…

        • More people are waking up and demanding their civil rights be respected.

          There’s some evidence that the federal government records all phone calls. When I point this out to well-connected, inside-the-beltway conservatives, most of them agree it’s probably true, but they don’t care. This includes, incredibly, a friend who’s a former Reason writer.

          People aren’t waking up. They’re going to sleep, cozy and oblivious.

        • What’s to enjoy? I’d rather learn I’m wrong and your optimism is correct. But you’re not making an argument or offering evidence.

  4. for those of you who are not from Arizona Glendale is one of the more decent areas of town and this is exactly why you should carry every day every moment just like you put on pants you should put on your weapon and be alert I bet this guy could have been easily spotted getting out of his car and an astute citizen could have limited him to one shot and maybe even none if you could catch him drawing a bead

    • This comment should go on that article where the dude is wondering why he should carry since he feels safe.

  5. ” he loaded magazines to their capacity”, what does this have to do with anything ? He should have painted it pink and called it Nancy. Guess this idiot was forced into doing this by the evil black rifle. What a load of crap.

    • That young man was but a vessel. Everyone knows it was the AR-15 that did it, after being goaded by Trump and the NRA of course.

  6. How predictable! Not even a hint of a question about the “gentleman’s” legal status, should he even been on the street, drug addled parent(s), etc. It’s the gun, of course!

  7. He “just wanted some respect”. That’s right up there with honor killings. There’s no accounting for that kind of stupidity.

    • So do you want to hang him immediately, or do you want to hang him after the trial and one appeal? You chubble butting keyboard cowboy!

      • Maybe he wants to hang him right after trial and AGAIN after appeal. I’m down for that as long as I get to watch, because that second hangin is gonna be messy!

  8. THIS👍👍👍👍Patrick Buchanan take note…you never know when some “bullied” schlub is looking for revenge. Your wife called. She said “carry that gun”!

  9. This case reinforces the fact that weapon is only an extension of the shooter – the exact opposite of the point Quezada was trying to make. With a rifle and 90 rounds, this clown injured three people (which I’m sure earned him plenty of “respect”); an expert could have killed five with an 1836 Colt Paterson.

    • Fair is fair. As long as the next time a white guy does something horrible he gets the same treatment over Europe.

      • Spaniards are Europeans.
        Most latinx are NOT indigenous.., they are mixed with Spanish .
        The natives originally cave over from ASIA,too.
        So..,.there are those things to consider.

      • If you Mexicans want to claim Arizona as your own, you should have fought harder for it. You’ve lost it square and fair, now move over to your side of the border and stay there, if you feel like a Mexican and not like an American.

        • You should try giving straight, white, Conservative, gun owning, working male a shot… you would never complain about the treatment of “Mexican-Americans again… You could always try identifying as “American” just sayin’…

  10. Ahhhh the Number 10 is a liberal thing. People can’t congregate in groups of more then 10, mags with no more then 10 rds. Coincidence? I think not.

  11. So the Hispanic male goes on a rampage, shoots three people because he wants “respect,” and the Hispanic politician blames it on the gun?

    Respect from whom? Grandel (the dominant local street gang)? The Mexican Mafia? A political grifter? The President of the Glendale Rotary Club?

    “I don’t know why the suspect decided 10 people,” Stewart said.

    Because that’s as high as he can count without taking off his shoes.

  12. Any truth to the rumor that he’s an illegal “Dreamer” ? Someone mentioned it on Farcebook. I haven’t been able to confirm.

  13. “Civilians should not have access to these weapons”

    Well we do. Tough shit. Move to Canada. I’ll help you pack.

    • Yup. And don’t say you got too much stuff, or can’t find your way now… here’s another set of hands, and I’m good with maps. No excuses.

      What we are really saying: “You don’t like it, don’t buy one” is your only option, now and forever, and it’s just not negotiable. Having said that, you’re welcome to your opinion, however moot it is in reality, and whether or not you really think it will make a lick of difference.

      Be safe.

    • Serge is of eastern European descent as you would know, if you didn’t just turn up here last week.
      Aside from that, I suspect he can count to more than 10 and if he ever decided to go on a rampage there would be many more than three wounded in his wake. I also doubt he would pick random strangers as his targets.

        • No we aren’t. We just act like we are cuz we know how to place a shape charge and tie det cord. Not sure about your combat engineer experience, but mine was 15mph in both iraq and afghanistan inside buffalos and husky’s. Nothing involving chemistry at all. We didn’t mix potions or learn the elemental tables and shit. I can’t take your credentials serious anyways. When you say combat engineer, I think of you as more of a bridge builder.

        • … and who says the Army doesn’t issue you a sense of humor… It’s about the same quality as everything else, made by the lowest bidder.

      • Been here a couple years now. You would know that if you were smart enough to follow the name changes I’ve made. B.D., Threeper, 3prcntr, SuspiciousFisherman… When they used to take EDC pics from Google image the names and TTAG if you want.

        • “You would know that if you were smart enough to follow the name changes I’ve made”

          Lol, nobody’s paying any attention.

      • Sanity is a one trick pony anyway. It’s got one trick, rational thought. When you’re good and crazy, the sky’s the limit.

  14. Living in Southern Arizona…

    Normally, this TTAG readership is not the sort of crowd to jump all over the “social justice” mantras of “racism” and “white supremacy,” and will usually just call out plain old inequitable bigotry as they see it in the raw. Nevertheless, I am probably societally conditioned to hedge my forthcoming comments with: 1) I am non-white, and 2) I have Latino members in my family, amongst a host of other “qualifications” for my “racist” insolence… my apologies.

    I’ve lived in the barrio for decades now, and I have always found it an unfortunate weakness in Mexican and other hispanic social culture, that there exists this preoccupation with an entitlement of “respect” and a wholly misaligned (in my opinion) definition of the human qualities that ought to deserve respect from others. Particularly among the youth– and mostly males, but it’s definitely prevalent among females, too– there seems to me to be an overwhelming craving for machismo points and a consciously created self-image of “strength” as defined by fear, dominance and badassery… which unfortunately too often seems to manifest itself as criminal thuggery and douchebaggery, and preying upon the “weak” (e.g., different, bullying others). This is a generalization, sure… but I feel like anyone living in or near this culture would instantly recognize what I am referencing, if indeed they were honest. For young men who are generally poor, not especially bright, and not particularly educated or skilled, this cultural preoccupation with “respect” can become a problematic life cancer that inevitably needs to worm its way out of the brain via some kind of unacceptable antisocial behavior. In my neighborhood, you can just look at a young Mexican man “wrong,” and immediately be challenged verbally, as if living in a feudal jungle… usually the motivation is flushed out as some vague slight, “You disrespected me!” To which my usual retort is something like, “Have you ever asked yourself what you have done in life to earn another’s respect, instead of immediately demanding it and feeling entitled to respect for having done nothing but act like an asshole?” And while every once in a while a eureka bulb pops off in the young man’s head, mostly this basic epiphany is just lost on them, as they simply deduce that you’re only “disrespecting” them again by pointing out some inadequacy with the intent to insult.

    It’s a cultural problem, though… this sense of entitlement to respect, without ever having earned it, or having demonstrated the character to command it beyond basic human decency. Now that’s my opinion, and I am certainly not saying that this the only culture that has such a problem. Somewhere in the vast grey area between everything “toxic masculinity” and “effeminate soyboi,” there is probably some degree of this lame issue in most cultures with young men and women trying to find their way towards a meaningful place in society. I don’t pretend to have any “deep insight” into the how, or what, or why of it all. Nor do I have any grand solution… but I just think it’s something that young Latino and hispanic men, if they are serious about moving forward and carving out a meaningful life that commands respect by virtue of accomplishment and character, perhaps they ought to be aware of and recognize this cultural phenomenon as potentially problematic.

    This kid who committed this senseless crime, obviously being a loser among losers so to speak, probably actually reckoned that there was very little realistic alternative available to him for achieving any “respect” (as culturally defined by machismo and “strength” and the ability to induce fear), other than to bully and kill others by demonstrating that he, too, has “power.” I am sure this might be stating the obvious… but I think I see it through the filter of how I’ve witnessed so many young Mexican men behave, when possessing and doing nothing to earn respect, yet being defined by their craving for it… by making their self-esteem directly dependent to this hunger for “respect.” It leads so many down a path to diminishing their lives, making themselves functionally worthless by indulging in the fantasy that somehow criminality and thuggery will achieve that hallowed “respect.” (Newsflash to young people caught up in craving “respect…” nobody respects that, except other fkd up losers.)

    No, I don’t sympathize. It’s no excuse, just a simple observation. And of course, I will point out that there are plenty of Mexican and Latino men who grasp this issue acutely, and fully realize that true, indomitable respect is something that is earned by performing meaningful service to others. I personally know and love plenty of them. These are people who don’t waste a moment worrying about respect, as they realize within themselves that their commendable behavior and character will build respect as an automatic function of having such integrity. And often they’ll be “immune to being disrespected” enough to launch into a “lecture” to reorient a young person about what earning respect really entails, starting with the usual staples of dedication to family, hard work, and protecting the weak. And you have to think that a lot of these young men who don’t get that firm lesson from someone that they themselves respect, they are just often led sideways… wrapped up in some cancerous false image of “respect,” be it characterized by bullying, material dominance, self-absorption or whatever other negative bullshit.

    Lastly, yes… it is a parent’s job, their duty… but if not, if they’re absent or incapable or whatever, then it falls to big brother or sister, aunt or uncle, CO or mentor, or even just friend, who ever is willing to step up to the plate and give a little time. In other words, young men and women who are screwed up by the wrong values can certainly be blamed for their own behavior… but if they don’t have others to show and tell them how to reliably live a positive life that earns real respect, if we see it and shrug and expect that “somebody else” will handle it, then that is really on all of us, to some extent. The only real, tried and true way to change anything is one person at a time. It doesn’t cost much to lend a voice and a hand.

    Thanks for reading. Sucks to see this in my backyard. Be safe, stay armed. And earn respect… it ain’t free!

    • The same (lack of) ‘mentality’ is quite common in non-Latino communities as well.

      Example – The “Hold my beer” crowd. Usually followed by an expensive ER visit. Puffing and preening and thumping one’s chest is a pretty universal condition with young males. And maybe some females, as well…

    • Mort, I believe you’ve described this phenomenon well. Yes, I’m a straight old white guy, but my wife is from a so-called “banana republic” and I’m an amateur student of human nature. Whatever that’s worth. I have pondered this and discussed it with my wife many times over the years, and have drawn very much the same conclusions as you have.

      His life situation likely was difficult and unfortunate, but he made his own decision to pay his nickel and take his chance. If my life sucks, it’s still my choice as to how I deal with it, and I alone am responsible for that choice. He chose poorly, and now will have to pay for his choice. Will any of his compadres get a clue? Sadly, probably not. I have many local acquaintances who are of Mexican heritage, and many of them are good men and good friends, but some are not. Their choice.

  15. Some nutjob who wants to shoot ten random people to get respect is not going to be impressed by laws saying he cannot have a gun. He will buy it on the black market, or steal it if he has to but he’s not going to be stopped by some words on a piece of paper.

  16. You know how many times I heard, “You gonna’ respect me!” My standard reply, “You don’t get respect just because you’re standing on top of the dirt breathing free air. You earn it. What have you done to earn my respect?” This was usually followed by, “Fuck you! You cracker motherfucker!” I then suggested they sit back and enjoy the ride.

  17. Oh well as a black male 60 years young former Marine Corps Sgt I have just one thing to say SEND YOUR YOUNG MEN TO THE CORPS THEY WILL TEACH THEM TO RESPECT ALL FIREARMS.
    And as far as the race thing there is really no need to go there this is just a man with a mental problem who will spend the rest of his life hopefully in prison.
    I myself own lots of toys and I will not give them up because of these idiots that do such things. If you shoot people then your life is ended right there on the spot by law enforcement no if’s but an’s about it. USE A FIREARM YOU DIE NO GOING TO JAIL YOU DIE!

  18. How the hell does commiting acts of violence against random people earn ‘respect’ let alone adress trauma from being ‘bullied’? All dipshit succeed in doing was furthering the adjenda of someone.

  19. “Civilians should not have access to these types of weapons and be able to walk into a mall to destroy people’s lives in a matter of seconds,”

    Since civilians are government employees not in the military, he is correct. Cops are civilians and should be disarmed.

  20. Note that the police were there within 5 minutes! That’s the best argument for concealed carry I have heard from the media.

  21. So he wanted respect huh ? Well, the little asshole is definitely going to get some of that ! That little chickensh-t is going to get everything he deserves, in jail. Ain’t no guns in jail. If you’re a tough guy, federal prison will damn sure give you a chance to prove it. Little bast–ds like him will always get what they deserve. Screw him, he can live the rest of his life looking over his shoulder. Dirty skunk.

  22. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Too bad that the shooter had to hurt innocent people with his game. The latest news I hear is that supposedly he is incel; and that was a large contributing factor to his anger and frustration. (I know, big whoop.)


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