One killed, five wounded in shooting spree in Arizona, gunman arrested

  • Reuters, Mesa, Arizona
  • Updated: Mar 19, 2015 08:00 IST

A gunman went on a shooting spree, killing one person and wounding five others in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa in the US state of Arizona on Wednesday before he was captured, police said.

Officers using a stun gun subdued the suspected gunman, identified as Ryan Elliot Giroux, 41, at a vacant condominium where he had taken refuge, some four hours after the initial shooting, Mesa police spokesman Esteban Flores told reporters.

"At this time we believe he is responsible for each and every one of these shootings," Flores said. Police said the motive for the rampage was still unclear but that the initial gunfire erupted following an argument at the motel.

By Wednesday evening, police were serving multiple search warrants at several locations, Flores said.

He said Giroux had been "asking for something in particular," but that police did not know if it was drugs.

Giroux, of Mesa, "lives a transient lifestyle," he said.

Anti-hate group the Southern Poverty Law Center, citing a retired Mesa police detective, identified Giroux as a member of skinhead and white supremacist groups who had served prison time for burglary, marijuana possession and attempted aggravated assault.

Flores said Giroux has "an extensive criminal background," but that police have not yet confirmed he has white supremacist ties.

Wednesday's violence began at the Tri City Inn in Mesa when the gunman opened fire on a man and two women following some kind of altercation, then fled to a nearby restaurant where he shot and wounded a student while carjacking the man's vehicle, Flores said.

He then drove to two nearby apartment complexes, shooting one person at each, Flores said.

The man shot in the motel died, and one of the surviving victims was in critical condition at a Phoenix-area hospital as of Wednesday evening, police said.

"We still don't know if he's going to survive," Flores said.

Authorities did not immediately release information on the remaining victims.

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