Arizona authorities have a suspected gunman in custody, ending an hours-long search for a man who shot several people at a Mesa motel and in nearby locations. At least six people were wounded and another dead in multiple shooting locations in Mesa, Arizona, on Wednesday morning, according to NBC affiliate KPNX. The Mesa Police Department has identified a 41-year-old white male named Ryan Elliot Giroux as a person in connection to the shooting, KPNX has reported.
Police have not released photos of Giroux. He was described as 5 feet 7 inches, 190 pounds, and bald, with tattoos on his head, neck, and face. KPNX says Giroux was released from Arizona prison, where he was connected to white supremacy groups, in 2013. He was incarcerated for five years for a number of charges, including second degree burglary and marijuana possession, according to KPNX. Witnesses said Giroux was wearing a gray shirt and black pants or shorts at the time of the shooting.
SWAT teams from Mesa and Scottsdale joined local police in the search. Authorities say the shooter's motive is still unknown.
Mesa Community College, which is located near the crime scenes but is believed to have not been connected the shooting, is no longer on lockdown, according to KPNX. The Southern and Dobson campus, however, will remain closed for the day.
The first 911 calls came in around 8:45 a.m. at the Tri-City Inn at 1504 W. Main St. At least two people were shot — one of whom was killed — in a motel room, according to The Arizona Republic. One of the motel victims was a maintenance worker at a nearby apartment complex at Emelita Avenue and South Longmore, police said.
The gunman then ran to a restaurant near the East Valley Institute of Technology and stole a gray Honda Accord. The Arizona Republic reported that another shooting victim, a white female in her 50s, was found at the restaurant by Vinnie Carbone, an employee of a local body shop, who then saw another man come out of the motel with a bloody shirt.
I looked down towards Longmore, and I just looked, and I saw a lady sitting on a chair, and it looked like a bullet hole (in her torso). She was shaking, she had a white shirt on, it looked like a pretty big hole. ... Everybody was running out of the parking lot. I saw about eight people running out, but only two (out of the motel) that had injuries.
At least three shooting scenes have been confirmed, though a police spokesman said there could be as many as five or six locations.