Career criminal and suspected neo-Nazi Ryan Elliot Giroux is believed to be responsible for the shooting Wednesday in Mesa, Arizona, that left one person dead and five others wounded, said authorities.
Giroux, 41, a convicted felon, had spent time in prison for a number of different crimes, including burglary, theft and attempted aggravated assault. He was sentenced to seven years in prison back in 2007. Giroux was released from prison in Oct. of 2013 and was on probation through Oct. 2016.
Police are still looking for a motive and are not certain if Giroux’s affiliations played a role in the shooting.
“Obviously he has tattoos on his neck and his face, his forehead,” Detective Esteban Flores told CNN. “Those are typical tattoos that you do see sometimes on white supremacists, but we don’t know if that has anything to do with what happened today.”
Giroux has the number 88 tattooed on his left temple, which is known for being a neo-Nazi code for “Heil Hitler,” as “H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
Four out of five of the victims were white and one was “white and hispanic descent.”
“I have no information that his (Giroux’s) affiliations or beliefs had anything to do with what occurred today,” Flores said.
Authorities suspect that Giroux may have known the initial victims, a man and two women, at the Tri-City Motel Inn in Mesa. Police believe that there was a dispute that precipitated the shooting, after which Giroux fled the scene encountering the other two victims in separate incidents.
“At this time we believe he is responsible for each and every one of these shootings,” Flores said.
“Everything else seemed to be random at that point,” Flores added. “We believe his motive at the other locations was robbery and carjackings and just trying to get away.”
It’s not clear at this point how Giroux obtained the firearm he used in the shooting.