Breaking News —
Following their first statement, investigators say the attacker is part of a group that promotes violence against women.
The young man who shot and wounded three people at the Westgate Entertainment District shopping center in the city of Glendale (Arizona, USA) on Wednesday night, after announcing the attack on social networks, was taken on Thursday 21 of May before a judge and accused of 16 charges, local media published.
As revealed by Sergeant Randy Stewart, Armando Hernández Jr., 20, claimed that he wanted to attack ten couples to “earn some respect”, since he felt that during his life he had been “harassed”. For his part, the prosecutor Edward Leiter maintained that the aggressor was an ‘incel’, in reference to a movement on the Internet of people that is defined as ‘involuntarily celibate’ and promotes violence against women. However, his lawyer rejected that argument and stated that there was no evidence to corroborate it.
In addition, the prosecutor claimed that the attacker wanted to “shoot at least ten people” and added that he had the “purpose” of bringing out his “his express anger at society, the feeling that he had been harassed, the feeling that women don’t want it. “ “He was deeply angry about this and said he was deliberately targeting couples,” he continued.
In this sense, it was indicated that in the attack, committed on Wednesday afternoon, two of the three victims of Hernández Jr. were together. A 19-year-old boy was hospitalized in critical condition, while a 16-year-old girl was also referred to a medical center, although her condition was not serious. Finally, a 30-year-old woman was treated but her transfer was not necessary.
Therefore, he was accused of 16 charges, including three for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, three others for aggravated assault resulting in serious injury, one for criminal damage, one for property damage, five for unloading a firearm within city limits, and one count for disorderly conduct with a weapon. Meanwhile, the Maricopa County Justice set a bail of a million dollars.
A premeditated attack
Before opening fire, the detainee had broadcast a video on the Snapchat social network in which he stated that he was going to become “the shooter of Westgate 2020”. The images showed a rifle in the back seat of his car, as he says, “Let’s get this over with, guys.” Soon after, he appears shooting outside the mall and pointing his gun at a person.
A few minutes later, the Police arrived at the scene and stopped him without offering any resistance.
According to what was reported by the local media, upon learning what happened, Hernández’s mother expressed that she had “no idea” why her son had acted in this way.