2 killed and 5 injured including 2 police officers in a shooting rampage in Pheonix when a gunman in military gear open fired on police and civilians outside a motel. Making this case one of the 40% rises in homicide cases in Pheonix and Chicago. The Pheonix chief of police calls it a community issue. The perpetrator has taken his own life after the incident.
Yesterday, the suspect was identified as a 24-year-old, Isaiah Steven Williams, open fire on civilians and police outside a motel. According to the police report, he was equipped with a Steel plated ballistic vest, ballistic helmet, knee pads, assault rifle, ballistic knife and improvised incendiary device or popularly known as Molotov cocktails. He was also found with several 5.56 magazines for his AR- 15 and Gasmask. In the middle of the action, he threw a Molotov in a restaurant with the hopes of ignition but luckily it was a failed igniter.
The perpetrator made his way through a parking lot where he killed two people in a car that was pulling out of the parking lot. Hearing the gunshots, the pedestrians called the police. As the police reached the scene of action, they were open-fired and riddled with rounds. Two officers were shot. One was hit on his shoulder and another was hit by a ricochet on the face, they both returned fire. The perpetrator then retreated back to the parking lot and according to the CCTV footage, he fell to the ground, signifying that he was himself in the process. The motive or the affiliation of the perpetrator is still unknown.
Making this one case of the regular gun violence in Arizona. From 2019 to 2022 gun violence related to gang activity and domestic violence has risen by over 50% which is the worst in thirty years. In July, local and federal agencies joined forces and launched Operation Gun Crime Crackdown with the sole intention of confiscating guns from high-risk individuals and groups. Even though, the operation has confiscated a large number of weapons, including assault rifles, submachine guns and shotguns, the homicide rate is still on the rise, at the rate of 11 deaths over a weekend.
In the conference on a late Sunday night, Chief of Police Jeri Williams said “How many more officers have to be shot? How many more community members have to be killed before those in our community take a stand? This is not a Phoenix police issue; this is a community issue. If not now, when?”