Ryan Giroux's Past Full of Violence and Meth Use | Valley Fever | Phoenix | Phoenix New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Phoenix, Arizona


Ryan Giroux's Past Full of Violence and Meth Use

Court records show that violence and meth use are constants throughout the life of Ryan Giroux, the man accused of shooting six people in Mesa, killing one, on Wednesday. After an arrest last year, Giroux's probation officer wrote to the court that Giroux "took it upon himself" to get mental-health...
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Court records show that violence and meth use are constants throughout the life of Ryan Giroux, the man accused of shooting six people in Mesa, killing one, on Wednesday.

After an arrest last year, Giroux's probation officer wrote to the court that Giroux "took it upon himself" to get mental-health treatment and started to get the white supremacist tattoos removed from his face.

However, even as recently as last year, Giroux tested positive for meth as part of his probation. Court records show that Giroux, 41, has been using meth and other drugs on-and-off for the majority of his life.

"By the defendant's own admission, he has the propensity to become violent when he is either intoxicated or using illegal drugs," says a report from his probation officer last year. "He has a long arrest history that demonstrates violent behavior."

See also: -White Supremacist Suspected of Shooting Six People in Mesa

Giroux has seven felony convictions and is facing a long list of charges stemming from Wednesday's shooting spree in Mesa.

Police say Giroux shot three people at a Mesa motel as a result of an argument, which resulted in one person's death. The next three shootings were random, in a series of attempts by Giroux to rob people and evade police, authorities say.

A report from Giroux's probation officer, filed in a 2006 case, indicates that Giroux was raised by his biological parents, in a home free of abuse.

He has a son of his own, now a teenager, with a woman he'd divorced by 2006. He's been in prison for most of his son's life, according to the report.

Giroux is a high school dropout who completed ninth grade but eventually wound up with a GED.

In that 2006 case, Giroux was carrying a loaded gun -- which he wasn't allowed to have as a convicted felon -- when he got into a physical fight with police officers after he was caught stealing a 99-cent bag of chips from a Circle K store.

Giroux landed in prison for that fight, on an aggravated-assault charge, and was released in 2013.

Giroux was arrested a year later after failing to show up to a meeting with his probation officer. He told police he was smoking meth instead of going to the meeting, according to court records.

The court records show that Giroux sought drug treatment at least twice but never finished any program.

Although he also sought mental-health treatment, a probation report states, "The defendant's mental health appears to be stable until he uses methamphetamine."

Giroux's record stretches back to an alcohol-related conviction when he was 17, but his first felony arrests were for burglary and theft -- in separate arrests -- at age 20. The next year, 1994, Giroux was arrested for robbery, then the year after that, he was arrested for marijuana possession. He was sent to prison in Arizona twice for this set of crimes.

Following his release from prison in 1997, it seems that Giroux found his way to California, where he was arrested in 1999 after committing a pair of crimes, described in Arizona court records as an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and felony theft.

By 2006, he was back in Arizona, where he was arrested for the fight with police at a Mesa Circle K, landing him in prison from 2007 to 2013, and again was jailed in 2014 for a probation violation.

Giroux now faces literally dozens of felony charges for Wednesday's rampage. A judge set his bond this morning at $2 million.

No motive has been revealed in the shootings, but court documents indicate it started at Mesa's Tri-City motel, where Giroux shot David Williams and his mother, Lydia Nielson. Williams died as a result of the shooting.

Giroux also shot at two more people at the motel who were just arriving to visit Williams, and apparently hit one of those people in the leg. During this, one of the bullets hit the side mirror of someone driving down Main Street.

Giroux then went across the street to the Bistro 13 restaurant and demanded car keys from a young man named Isaac Martinez, who said he didn't have any, and tried to run, but Giroux shot him in the shoulder. Giroux successfully carjacked someone else in the restaurant.

He then drove to a nearby apartment complex, attempted to carjack another person, but moved on after having trouble getting the keys out of the owner. He forced his way into someone's apartment, and still tried to get car keys out of someone, punching one man in the face before shooting him in the upper arm.

Giroux left the apartment, and ran into a maintenance worker for the apartments, and Giroux led him at gunpoint to his car, which Giroux intended to steal. On the way, they passed another maintenance man whom Giroux shot. That man, Marcus Butler, has been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, but a police spokesman says he's now expected to survive.

Giroux barricaded himself inside a vacant apartment but eventually was located and removed from the apartment by police.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

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