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Arizona Mall Shooter Was an Incel Who Targeted Couples, Prosecutors Say


Authorities on Thursday detailed the alleged motive for the shooting in the Westgate Entertainment District, an outdoor mall in Arizona. Defendant Armando Hernandez Jr. thought of himself as an incel (an involuntary celibate), and had been targeting couples. The suspect, angry that women didn’t want him and feeling that he had been bullied, took out this anger out on society, according to Maricopa County prosecutor Edward Leiter in a Mercury News report.

Hernandez allegedly opened fire using an assault rifle in the Westgate district on Wednesday evening. He posted video of his actions to Snapchat, authorities said. He was taken into custody by a police lieutenant. According to cops, he admitted to wanting to target 10 people, but denied he wanted to kill anyone.

The defendant faces charges including aggravated with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with serious physical injury, and criminal damage-recklessly damaging the property of a utility. He allegedly injured three people. A 19-year-old man was in critical condition. A 16-year-old girl sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital, according to Glendale police spokesman Sgt. Randy Stewart. A 30-year-old woman got injured, but didn’t go to a hospital.

Hernandez is represented by the office of the Maricopa County public defender. They did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment. The defendant is being held at the Maricopa County Jail on $1 million cash bond.

Police on Thursday asked that any further witnesses, and any one with first-hand video of the shooting upload their footage to them.

[Screengrab via ABC 15]

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