Phoenix police: Comicon suspect threatened police, performer

Posted May 27, 2017

Police were alerted about the incident around noon and then located the suspect inside the Phoenix Convention Center. More police will also be present during the event to help keep things in order. Prop weapons include swords, sabers and fake guns.

Thursday marked the first day of the four-day-long "entertainment and comic convention". Police also believe he meant to attack officers as well. The Phoenix Comicon will continue to go on, as scheduled, through Sunday, with heightened security. However, this did not seem to occur on Thursday, with the armed man slipping through into the convention while fully armed. Vendors will still be allowed to seal sealed toy weapons, but the police will require buyers to keep the packages unopened until exiting the venue.

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Police didn't identify the performer who allegedly was threatened but say the man arrested Thursday was Mathew Sterling. They have stated that what happened when he brought four guns and several knives to the annual event is "an isolated incident".

They say prop weapons won't be permitted now at Comicon because of the situation and extra security is being added with additional screening and fewer accessible entrances to the building. Phoenix police reportedly became aware of the man and his arsenal after he posted images of the weapons and messages threatening the city's police officers on social media.

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The man, who was not identified by police, is now at police headquarters with detectives.

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