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Arizona Rampage Suspect Ryan Giroux Held on $2 Million Bail

Ryan Giroux, the ex-con charged with a deadly shooting spree in Mesa, Arizona, appeared in court as authorities documented the prior day's carnage.
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The white supremacist accused in a wild, deadly shooting spree through suburban Mesa, Arizona was being held in jail on $2 million bail after making a brief appearance before a judge on Thursday.

Ryan Giroux, a heavily tattooed ex-con and documented gang member, looked subdued in the videotaped hearing, in which he did little more than say his name.

He was ordered back into court later this month to face 23 criminal counts, including murder, attempted murder, assault, armed robbery, carjacking, burglary and weapons charges, stemming from the Wednesday's rampage, which left one man dead and five others injured.

Authorities on Thursday also released a detailed account of the violent frenzy, which began at about 8:30 a.m. outside the Tri City Motel on West Main Street. Witnesses told police they saw Giroux, 41, fire into Room 102, where he hit a guest, David Williams, William's mother, Lydia Nelson, according to an arrest warrant. Williams, shot twice, died. People scattered, and Giroux kept firing, hitting one woman, Jessica Burgess, who was hit in the thigh.

Giroux then fled to a nearby restaurant called The Bistro, where he demanded car keys from a patron, police said. When the patron, Isaac Martinez, tried to run, Giroux shot him in the shoulder. Giroux demanded car keys from a second man, who gave them up. Giroux fled in that man's Honda Accord.

The gunman drove a few blocks and stopped at an apartment complex on South Dobson Road, where he forced his way at gunpoint into an apartment occupied by a couple, their grandson and the grandson's girfriend, police said. Giroux demanded car keys from the grandson, Donovan Worker, then punched him in the face and shot him in the upper arm.

Giroux moved on to a nearby condominium complex, where he shot a maintenance worker, Marcus Butler before barricading himself in an empty apartment, police said. Butler was hospitalized in critical condition.

A police SWAT team showed up at the vacant unit and took him into custody after a struggle in which he was shot with a Taser and sustained injuries to his head, face and legs, police said.

Giroux has done several stretches in Arizona prisons for a variety of crimes, including assault, burglary and theft. He was released in 2013, and he was on probation at the time of the rampage, authorities said.

Mark Potok, editor of Hatewatch, a bulletin on hate crimes published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, reported that the many tattoos on Giroux's face and torso were associated with neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. Specifically, Potok wrote, the number 88 on his left temple is neo-Nazi code for "Heil Hitler," since H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

Potok quoted a retired Mesa police detective who identified Giroux as a member of a skinhead group called Hammerskin Nation.


—Jon Schuppe