Gilbert Massacre: Police Continue to Investigate Killing Spree that Claimed Five, Including Toddler
Police tape blocks off the area surrounding the Gilbert home where five people were shot and killed this afternoon.
Photo by Jamie Peachey
Five people -- two men, two women, and a 2-year-old girl -- were killed in a shooting rampage in a quiet Gilbert neighborhood this afternoon.
The shooter has been identified by sources as prominent neo-Nazi, and candidate for Pinal County Sheriff, J.T. Ready. Police had not identified the victims or the shooter this evening and were still on the scene investigating. They said four bodies remained inside the home at 530 West Tumbleweed Road.
"We believe the person responsible is deceased inside the home," said Gilbert Police Sergeant Bill Balafas in a press briefing.
According to Balafas, FBI agents were helping with the investigation. He did not explain why the feds were involved.
Dozens of reporters swarmed to the block surrounding the crime scene. Several neighbors were also outside watching the melee.
One neighbor, who declined to be identified, said she was home when the shooting took place. She said she heard three gunshots about 1:30 p.m. She also pointed out what she said was J.T. Ready's car parked at an awkward angle in front of the house.
Crystal Seibert, another neighborhood resident, identified one of the victims as Amber Mederos, 22, whom she says she went to school with at Mesquite High.
"I was her mentor and captain in the color guard," says Seibert. "Amber [was] an amazing person and this did not deserve to happen to her and her family."
According to several people at the scene, Mederos, her boyfriend, Jim, 2-year-old daughter Lilly, and mother, Lisa, were all victims of the shooting. The 2-year-old was taken to the hospital where she reportedly died.
"This is a tragic, horrible thing that has happened to a friend of mine," Seibert says. "I have a 2-year-old at home, and if something like this were to ever happen to him, I wouldn't be able to live. My thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and her family."
Investigators also were concerned about an unknown and possibly dangerous substance in large barrels at the home, according to Balafas.
Also see: J.T. Ready, Neo-Nazi and One-Time Pal of Russell Pearce's, is Shooter in Gilbert Massacre (w/Update) by Stephen Lemons.
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