Former Mesa Police Detective Matt Browning told the SPLC that Ryan Giroux was a member of the Hammerskin Nation, a “notoriously violent” neo-Nazi group affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood.
“He’s a violent guy,” said Browning, who knew Giroux as a young skinhead in the 1990s and early 2000s. “I think his time in prison contributed to that.”
Arizona prison records show Giroux served multiple stints in jail dating back to 1994. He has been convicted of attempt to commit aggravated assault, burglary, theft and a marijuana violation.
Giroux was arrested at a nearby apartment complex several hours after he killed a man at the Tri-City Inn Motel near Main Street and Alma School Road.
The slain man’s girlfriend, Veronica Ehring, told KTAR News’ Mac & Gaydos she did not know Giroux.