The man believed to have gone on a deadly shooting spree Wednesday in Mesa, Arizona has a criminal record and purported ties to neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.
Following a manhunt that lasted hours, police took into custody a gunman who allegedly killed one person and wounded five others across multiple shooting scenes.
The Mesa Police Department has not released the suspect’s name. But the Arizona Republic reported that anonymous police sources identified Ryan Eliot Giroux, 41, as the suspect in the shooting.
Giroux was released from prison in 2013 after serving more than six years for attempted aggravated assault, according to records from the Arizona Department of Corrections. He had served two prior prison terms on burglary and marijuana charges.
Giroux also sports multiple face and neck tattoos, including eyebrow ink that reads “Skinhead” and an “88” on his left temple. The number is a code used for the Nazi salute “heil Hitler.” In a news conference Wednesday, a spokesman for the Mesa Police Department described the suspect as a bald man with face and neck tattoos.
Retired Mesa Police Det. Matt Browning on Wednesday told the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog that he was familiar with Giroux. Browning identified Giroux as a member of the Hammerskin Nation, a racist skinhead group formed in the late 1980s.
Wade Page, the gunman in the 2012 Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting, had notably belonged to the same group.
Browning told Hatewatch that Giroux was also affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang that dates back to the 1960s.