PHOENIX, ARIZONA – The Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the below statement in response to yesterday’s shooting in Mesa that reportedly killed one person and injured five others across three crime scenes.
While details are still unfolding, the suspected shooter, 41-year-old Ryan Giroux, is a violent convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing firearms.
STATEMENT FROM BETSY SHERMAN, A VOLUNTEER WITH THE ARIZONA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION:
“First and foremost, our thoughts are with the victims and their families. While details are still unfolding, yesterday’s tragic shooting is a heartbreaking reminder of the gun violence Arizonans know all too well – innocent lives are cut short or altered forever by our nation’s staggering gun violence that kills 88 Americans every day. In the midst of this latest tragedy, we must stand up for the safety of Arizonans and work to reduce the gun violence that claims the lives of innocent people across the state.
“Yesterday, Governor Ducey offered his ‘support and resources of the state,’ including our law enforcement and first responders on our front lines. As we join together as a community and look ahead, we urge the Arizona State Legislature to also show support for our men and women in uniform. Several dangerous gun bills are currently being discussed in Phoenix that would hamper the ability of law enforcement to protect our communities, potentially get them fired for enforcing laws already on the books, and even strip state sovereignty to write some public safety laws at all. These bills are being opposed by a combination of the Arizona Association of Chief of Police, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, and gun violence prevention organizations. It’s imperative that our legislature remembers the Governor’s pledge for public safety reject these misguided measures. Our elected officials should be focused on keeping guns out of dangerous hands – like the hands of the shooter yesterday – and focus on standing up for public safety when Arizona is counting on them most.”
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND ABOUT THE SHOOTER:
- Mesa Police Department confirmed the shooter was Ryan Giroux, 41, of Mesa, AZ.
- In 1993, Giroux was convicted of felony burglary and misdemeanor marijuana possession and sentenced to 3 years 9 months (he was released in 1994).
- He was arrested seven times between 1994 and 2007, including arrests in Washington and California for assault with a deadly weapon, theft, and drug possession.
- In July 2007, he was convicted of attempted aggravated assault with a prior felony conviction and misconduct involving a weapon: Police confronted him while shoplifting at a gas station; he fought with police officers and tried to grab a gun. He was sentenced to 7.5 years in jail and released in October 2013.
- A retired Mesa Police Detective reports to the Southern Poverty Law Center that Giroux is a member of Hammerskin Nation, a notoriously violent racist skinhead group, and an associate of the Aryan Brotherhood, a national prison gang with a long list of murders.
- Wade Michael Page, who killed six people and wounded four others at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in August 2014, was also a member of the Hammerskin Nation.