Suspected Phoenix shooter part of hate group linked with Midwest temple attack

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A suspect has been arrested after one person was killed and five others wounded during a shooting rampage in Mesa, Ariz.

That gunman is said to be part of a notorious white supremacist organization here in the Midwest.

With the words "skin" and "head" tattooed as eyebrows, Ryan Giroux is a member of an organization called the Hammerskin Nation, according to hate group investigators.

That Hammerskin Nation is the same one that has a white supremacist chapter in Chicago, and was at the center of a deadly attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin a few years ago.

"It's just sad," said Tanya Ehrig, whose sister's boyfriend was killed.

Loved ones of the six people shot were locked down as police went on high alert.

They arrested the suspected shooter Wednesday afternoon inside a condo two miles from where the Chicago Cubs are holding spring training camp, put in a hazmat suit to preserve potential evidence on his clothing.

"At this time we believe he is responsible for each and every one of these shootings," said Detective Esteban Flores, Mesa Police.

The suspect was identified as Girouz, 41, by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a national group that monitors hate crimes. SPLC says that Giroux was released from prison in Arizona in 2013 after serving time for assault, theft, burglary and drug crimes.

Law center investigators say Giroux is a member of Hammerskin Nation, a notoriously violent racist skinhead group, and an associate of the Aryan Brotherhood, a national prison gang with a long list of murders to its credit.

Hammerskin Nation is the same hate group that Wade Page joined prior to his attack on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis.

Page killed six people during an assault on the temple near Milwaukee that occurred in August 2012.

Law enforcement officials say Wednesday's shooting attacks outside Phoenix started with an argument in a motel room. The gunman then allegedly left and went to a nearby restaurant, and from there carjacked a woman in a school parking lot and invaded an apartment. When police tracked down the shooter, they ended up tazing him before making the arrest.


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