Officials: Phoenix courthouse shooting suspect not tied to anti-police groups

Sep 17, 2020, 4:26 PM | Updated: 6:09 pm
Federal law enforcement personnel stand outside the Sandra Day O'Connor Federal Courthouse Tuesday,...

Federal law enforcement personnel stand outside the Sandra Day O'Connor Federal Courthouse Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Phoenix. A drive-by shooting wounded a federal court security officer Tuesday outside the courthouse in downtown Phoenix, authorities said. The officer was taken to a hospital and is expected to recover, according to city police and the FBI, which is investigating. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — A suspect accused of shooting and injuring a security guard Tuesday in a drive-by shooting outside a federal court building in downtown Phoenix is not tied to anti-police groups, officials said Thursday.

David Gonzalez, the U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News that authorities instead believe 68-year-old James Lee Carr is suffering from mental illness.

Carr was booked Tuesday on two federal counts, assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm during a violent crime.

“We don’t believe he was involved in any type of group like BLM or antifa,” Gonzalez said. “We believe he’s an individual who is suffering from some mental illness.”

Tweets from Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio immediately following the incident strongly suggested the shooter was influenced by an anti-police group.

DiCiccio doubled down on his claims Wednesday, stating that the alleged shooter was a BLM supporter who was attempting to kill a police officer.

Carr, who made his first court appearance Thursday since his arrest, didn’t seek to be released from jail, though he still has the option of doing so later in the case.

Attorney Dan Cooper, who represents Carr, told Magistrate Judge Thomas Ferraro that his client is having serious problems with hallucinations and should be examined by a psychiatrist. Cooper said he witnessed his client having a conversation when no one else was in the room.

After the brief hearing, Cooper declined to comment on Carr’s behalf.

Immediately after the shooting, Carr called his brother and said he was sitting in a park and “wanted to die because he shot the security guard,” according to a criminal complaint.

Carr’s brother, son and ex-wife went to the park. His ex-wife took Carr’s guns away without incident and called 911.

His son said Carr told him that he “snapped and shot a security guard … because the security guard was harassing him,” according to the documents.

Carr has not yet entered a plea on the charges.

Carr’s ex-wife, Donna Gonzales, has told The Associated Press that Carr has a long history of mental illness but had never been violent. She dismissed any notion that he was making a statement following nationwide protests over police brutality and the weekend ambush of two Los Angeles County deputies.

She blamed his mental illness.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

In the first half of 2019, more than 3.27million pedestrians crossed frmo Mexico to the U.S. throug...
SuElen Rivera

Santa Cruz County sheriff, who oversees Nogales, believes ‘there is no invasion’ at the southern border

Santa Cruz County Sheriff David Hathaway said on Wednesday he doesn't believe there is an invasion at the southern Arizona border.
6 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Downtown Mesa)...

Inaugural Beards and Brews Booze Crawl coming to downtown Mesa on Saturday

Get in the holiday spirit this weekend with a new pub crawl in downtown Mesa this Saturday called Beards and Brews Booze Crawl.
6 hours ago
(City of Phoenix Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Phoenix boosts lifeguard pay incentive to $3,000 for 2023 pool season

After only having enough staff to open about half of its pools in 2022, the city of Phoenix is upping its incentive to lifeguards for next year.
6 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/City Government of Chandler, Arizona)...

Chandler City Council approves policy to prohibit acts of discrimination

The Chandler City Council voted 6-1 to adopt an ordinance that prohibits discrimination during Monday’s meeting.
1 day ago
(Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Execution warrant requested for Arizona death row inmate

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has requested the state Supreme Court issue a warrant of execution for death row inmate Aaron Gunches.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Angel Zamora)...

2 Phoenix police officers charged with assault in October incident with shooting suspect

Charges against two Phoenix police officers accused of assaulting a shooting suspect during an October arrest have been submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Officials: Phoenix courthouse shooting suspect not tied to anti-police groups