USA TODAY ‘Armed terrorist’ shoots 3 people at Westgate Entertainment District near Phoenix; shooter in custody, police say. Bree Burkitt, Andrew Oxford, Helena Wegner and Perry Vandell,
Written by Choc Thunda on May 21, 2020
Three people were shot Wednesday night in a popular and prominent shopping complex near Phoenix and the shooter was in custody, according to police in suburban Glendale.
Police responded to the Westgate Entertainment District around 7:25 p.m. after receiving multiple reports of a shooting in the area, according to Glendale police spokesperson Tiffany Ngalula. Ngalula said that three people were shot with one in critical condition at a nearby hospital. The two other victims received non-life threatening injuries.
The shooting was no longer active when police arrived at the scene, Ngalula said.
The shooter, whom Ngalula did not identify, was found in the Westgate area. Ngalula said police “challenged” him and were able to safely take him into custody.
A video circulated on social media Wednesday night, appearing to show a man claiming to be the shooter. One of the videos showed the man with a semi-automatic rifle.
Police were aware of the video, Ngalula said.
State Sen. Martin Quezada tweeted that he witnessed a shooter in the area armed with an assault weapon.
“I just witnessed an armed terrorist with an AR-15 shoot up Westgate,” he wrote. “There are multiple victims.”
Numerous other videos showed store employees and guests sheltering in place.
Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted that his office was monitoring the situation closely and the state is ready to assist as necessary.
YAM Properties, a commercial real-estate company owned by GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons, bought the Westgate Entertainment District in 2018.
Amber Liptai, a spokeswoman for Parsons’ parent company BIG YAM, said in a statement that property management and security is working with the Glendale Police Department.
“We are deeply troubled by this incident and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families,” Liptai said. “Westgate will continue to work closely with the Glendale Police Department and in-house security to best ensure the safety of our customers, tenants and residents.”
Westgate opened in 2006 just ahead of the Arizona Cardinals’ first season playing in Glendale. The complex is next to State Farm Stadium, which has hosted two Super Bowls.
Sports are at the center of Westgate, which is adjacent to Gila River Arena, a NHL hockey and concert venue.
Westgate, with its signature fountains, features many restaurants, bars, shops and offices. It’s one of the area’s notable entertainment destinations and annually is filled with college football fans in town for the Fiesta Bowl.