A man at the Phoenix Comicon armed with four guns, several knives, and possessing ammunition was arrested on Thursday afternoon, May 25, 2017. The Phoenix Comicon is being held at the Phoenix Convention Center in the downtown area of Arizona’s capital. A spokeswoman for the Phoenix police, Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, stated that the man had three handguns and a shotgun in his possession, as well as numerous knives.
USA Today reported that the man armed with multiple weapons at the Phoenix Comicon, who is 30 years old but has not yet been identified, had planned to use the weapons to injure Phoenix police. She said that the man had taken photos of police officers and had posted them on social media sites. The man was taken into custody by the police after a brief struggle.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, a statement from the Phoenix Police said that the unidentified man was also wearing body armor. The police took him away from the venue and was questioned at police headquarters.
Thursday marked the first day of the four-day-long “entertainment and comic convention.” Multiple officers were necessary to subdue the armed man. The Phoenix Comicon will continue to go on, as scheduled, through Sunday, with heightened security. According to NBC affiliate, KPNX 12 News TV, this weekend, there will be an increased number of both uniformed and plainclothes officers at the event.
The Arizona Daily Star reported that prop guns and knives will now not be permitted at the event this year as a part of cosplay, when fans dress up as their favorite superheros and villains, manga and anime characters, or other fictional or historical characters. Vendors will still be allowed to seal sealed toy weapons, but the police will require buyers to keep the packages unopened until exiting the venue. Security staff at the Phoenix Comicon are supposed to inspect prop weapons, as a matter of course, but in this case, Phoenix police said that did not happen.
Police have said they believe the unidentified man at the Phoenix Comicon “acted alone.” They have stated that what happened when he brought four guns and several knives to the annual event is “an isolated incident.”
Throughout the rest of the Phoenix Comicon, there will be “extra security” as well as “additional screening.” Entry into the Phoenix Convention Center by the general public will also be limited to fewer entrances. Because of the heightened security, entry lines into the event will likely be slower.
On Thursday, a unidentifed 30-year-old man armed with four guns and several knives, carrying ammo on him and wearing body armor, was arrested Thursday afternoon at the Phoenix Comicon in Arizona. The man had reportedly been taking photos of police officers at the annual event, and posting them on social media sites, allegedly intending to use his weapons to injure the officers. The police apprehended the man and took him in for questioning without any shots being fired.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Phoenix Comicon/Facebook