Bonneville Phoenix Network
 KTAR News
 Arizona Sports
Latest News

Police on shootings in Gilbert: We had been to house 5 times since 2009

In this undated handout photo from J.T. Ready, J.T. Ready is shown. Ready. Ready is a reputed neo-Nazi who has been conducting heavily armed patrols to catch illegal aliens in the Arizona desert amid the furor over immigration in the state and angering local law enforcement officials who say right-wing radicals are not welcome. The militia said it was emboldened because of the federal government's inability to secure the border, and it has declared war on what it calls "narco-terrorists." (AP Photo/J.T. Ready)

GILBERT, Ariz. -- Gilbert Police Sergeant Bill Balafas said they believe 39-year old Jason Todd Ready was the gunman in Wednesday's shootings, a murder-suicide.

Police say they believe the former Marine with ties to neo- Nazi and Minutemen groups is responsible for shooting four people and taking his own life in a suburban Phoenix home.

"It's safe to say this was a domestic-violence incident," said Balafas.

Balafas expanded on that claim late Wednesday when he referred to the original 9-1-1 call about the incident.

"In the call it was clearly stated this was a domestic violence situation," Balafas said. "Those two words were used -- domestic violence."

Police believe it was Lisa on the first call and that she stated there was a domestic violence argument going on and she needed the police to respond.

"Towards the end of that call there were shots fired and the phone line went dead," Balafas said.

The police then received another 9-1-1 call.

"Shortly after [the original call] we did receive a different call from a different line from someone who was also inside the house who had found several bodies inside the household."

That person was a teenager in the house who had heard arguing followed by gunshots. She came out of a back room, found the bodies and called 9-1-1.

Authorities say that the four others killed were 15-month- old Lily Lynn Mederos; 23-year-old Amber Nieve Mederos; 47-year-old Lisa Lynn Mederos and 24-year-old Jim Franklin Hiott.

Media reports say Lisa Mederos was Ready's girlfriend and Amber and Lily were her daughter and granddaughter.

This was not the first time the police had been called to this residence for domestic violence.

"We were at this address five previous times from 2009 until now," Balafas said. "We went to the Tumbleweed address in November of 2009 for a suicide threats call where miss Amber Mederos was threatening suicide, in August of 2011 for disorderly conduct where Mr. Ready was the victim suspicious activity report, where Mr. Ready was the reporting party, a vehicle burglary where Amber was the victim and an aggravated assault report in February 2012 where Lisa Mederos was the reported victim and Mr. Ready was the suspect."

The aggravated assault report was given to the police six months after the incident happened. Probable cause was never established and an arrest was never made.

Ready was known in Arizona for organizing a militia in the desert with the goal of finding illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. The 39-year-old outfitted himself with military fatigues, body armor and gas masks, and carrying assault rifles.

Gilbert Police expect the autopsies and ballistics reports to be completed before the end of business Friday. All five bodies are the medical examiner's office.

Investigators will recanvass the neighborhood and look further into the backgrounds of the deceased.

The FBI is on the scene investigating because of the "military-grade" munitions and two barrels of chemicals found at the home. All of the munitions and chemicals were removed Wednesday night.

The Anti-Defamation League had identified Ready as a neo- Nazi, anti-immigration extremist and white supremacist, according to the organization's website.

Stay with KTAR for updates as the story develops.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


comments powered by Disqus
Latest News