Westgate, Arizona, Shooting Suspect Identified by Police as Armando Hernandez Jr.

Armando Hernandez
Mugshot of Armando Hernandez Jr. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

On Thursday, the Glendale Police Department in Arizona identified 20-year-old Armando Hernandez Jr. as the suspect in the shooting at the Westgate Entertainment District on Wednesday night.

"The suspect in custody is 20-year-old Armando Hernandez Jr. We will have more information as the morning progresses," the Glendale Police Department wrote in a tweet.

In an email sent to Newsweek by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Hernandez was booked on 14 different charges, including five counts of discharging a firearm in city limits, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of aggravated assault resulting in serious physical injury and one count each of criminal damage, recklessly damaging utility property and disorderly conduct with a weapon.

The shooting began at around 7:25 p.m. GMT, and at least three people were shot. According to Ngalula, one of the victims is in critical condition while the two others suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Following the incident, a number of videos surfaced across social media showing what happened, and Ngalula has urged anyone that has come across these videos to report them to the police.

"I just witnessed an armed terrorist with an AR-15 shoot up Westgate. There are multiple victims," Arizona Senator Martin Quezada wrote on Twitter. "I saw 2 victims with my own eyes. Not sure how many others I saw the shooter. Being told not to say anything else about details 'til I speak to police. I'm ok. Lots of shaken up people."

On Wednesday night, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey also responded to the shooting in a statement.

"First and foremost, our hearts and prayers are with the individuals and families impacted tonight, as well as the first responders and police officers who are on the scene. As we learn additional details, the state is here to continue to offer its full support to the victims and to the community," Ducey wrote. "The Arizona Department of Public Safety has been in regular communication with the Glendale Police Department and the State of Arizona stands ready to provide any resources and support needed."

The shooting in Arizona came as the state recently reopened different areas, including malls, on May 16, which were previously closed as part of the state's lockdowns due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, mass shootings decreased in April when compared to the same month a year prior. In April 2020, there were 25 mass shootings, with 22 dead and 89 wounded, however, in April 2019 there were 33 mass shootings resulting in 25 deaths and 130 injuries.