Police: Shooter in Shopping Area Says He Was Bullied

20-year-old told them he shot 3 people because he wanted respect, officials say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 21, 2020 6:04 PM CDT
Police: Man Who Opened Fire in Shopping Area Says He Was Bullied
This booking photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office shows 20-year-old Armando Hernandez Jr., who was arrested in Glendale, Ariz.   (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A 20-year-old gunman who opened fire at a suburban Phoenix restaurant and retail complex, injuring three people, wanted to target people in his own age group in retaliation for being bullied, authorities said Thursday. The shooting rampage occurred Wednesday night after Armando Hernandez scoped out Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, returned to his car to make a social media video and loaded three rifle magazines, police said. "I'm going to be the shooter of Westgate 2020," Hernandez said in his Snapchat video, holding a beer in one hand. The footage also shows an AR-15-type rifle in the backseat of the car. "Let's get this done, guys," he said. Hernandez later surrendered, telling detectives that he intended to harm 10 people, though it’s unclear why he chose that number.

"He wanted to gain some respect, and he felt that he had been bullied in his life," Glendale police Sgt. Randy Stewart said. Police say Hernandez filmed the attack while holding a cellphone with his left hand and firing away with the rifle in his right hand. The first two victims were shot outside a restaurant. As the gunman moved through the complex, police said, he fired shots to intimidate people before shooting the third victim. The complex is adjacent to the stadium where the NFL's Arizona Cardinals play. Authorities say Hernandez wounded a 19-year-old man, who remained hospitalized in critical condition. A 16-year-old girl was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. A third victim, a 30-year-old woman, did not require hospitalization. Bystander video posted on social media showed people running from the area and embracing after being reunited.

(More mass shootings stories.)

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