Shooter who wounded 3 at Westgate in 2020 finds out how long he’ll be in prison

Jul 8, 2022, 1:22 PM | Updated: 1:24 pm

PHOENIX – The shooter who terrorized Glendale’s Westgate Entertainment District with a rifle two years ago, wounding three people, found out Friday how long he’ll be behind bars.

Armando Hernandez was sentenced to 44 years in prison plus seven years of probation. That was the high end of the sentencing range from his plea deal, which was 19 to 44 years.

In April, he pleaded guilty to two charges of attempted first-degree murder and two charges of aggravated assault for the May 20, 2020, attack.

Hernandez had been indicted on 39 counts, but dozens were dismissed as part of the plea deal.

“A maximum sentence for these crimes is justice,” Interim Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in a press release.

“We are fortunate that the victims in this case survived and now a dangerous individual has been removed from our community.”

Hernandez was arrested after wounding a 30-year-old woman, a 19-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl at the sprawling shopping center at Glendale Avenue and the Loop 101 Agua Fria Freeway.

Prosecutors said Hernandez, then 20, targeted couples and was a self-described “incel,” or involuntary celibate. They also said he livestreamed the incident and sent the video to a woman he was interested in.

Police said Hernandez scouted out the entertainment district after finding that the movie theaters there hadn’t yet reopened from coronavirus-related closures. He then went to his car to drink alcohol and arm himself with a rifle and three 30-round magazines.

An SRP transformer was hit during the shooting spree, causing the power to go out at Westgate.

His weapon malfunctioned, thwarting his plans to inflict more harm, and police were able to take him into custody.

Arizona state Sen. Martín Quezada witnessed the carnage and tweeted about seeing the shooter and multiple victims.

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Shooter who wounded 3 at Westgate in 2020 finds out how long he’ll be in prison