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Westgate shooting suspect indicted on 39 charges by grand jury

PHOENIX — The suspect in a May 20 shooting at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale was indicted by a grand jury on 39 charges, according to court documents released Thursday.

Armando Hernandez Jr., 20, is accused of shooting three people during the incident, which left a 19-year-old man with a life-threatening chest wound while a 16-year-old female had injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Hernandez was charged with two counts of attempted murder as part of the indictment.

The other charges are: 10 counts of aggravated assault, 15 counts of disorderly conduct, four counts of endangerment, two counts of discharging a firearm at a structure, five counts of criminal damage and one count of unlawful firing of a weapon.

Hernandez was originally booked on 14 charges, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Hernandez told police he wasn’t trying to kill anybody but wanted to inflict injuries, according to the probable cause statement.

Prosecutor Ed Leiter of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said in court last week that the Peoria resident targeted couples and was a self-described “incel,” or involuntary celibate.

Leiter said Hernandez livestreamed the incident and sent the video to a woman he was interested in.

Leiter said Hernandez became upset earlier Thursday when he couldn’t get dinner at Panda Express for an unexplained reason and grew angrier after going to Westgate to see a movie and finding that theaters haven’t yet reopened from coronavirus-related closures.

Police said Hernandez scouted out the sprawling shopping, dining and entertainment district at Glendale Avenue and the Loop 101 Agua Fria Freeway before returning to his car to drink alcohol and arm himself with an assault rifle and three 30-round magazines.

He told police he moved through the complex firing to intimidate people, according to the probable cause statement.

He allegedly shot a third victim — a 30-year-old woman — in the leg and told her she was lucky he didn’t kill her, and then his gun malfunctioned.

That’s when police arrived and took the suspect into custody without incident, according to the probable cause statement.

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