Published: Sat, May 27, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Comicon suspect threatened performer

Comicon suspect threatened performer

He arrived at the entertainment and comic convention with three handguns, one shotgun and the knives.

Matthew Sterling, 31, was taken into custody Thursday after a brief struggle with police at the Phoenix Convention Center.

The Arizona Daily Star reported that prop guns and knives will now not be permitted at the event this year as a part of cosplay, when fans dress up as their favorite superheros and villains, manga and anime characters, or other fictional or historical characters.

A heavily armed suspect has been arrested after he entered Phoenix Comicon and threatened to kill officers and a performer.

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"At this time, there is no evidence to cause investigators to believe this is anything more than an isolated incident", Phoenix police said in a press release. "He was immediately removed from the venue and taken to police headquarters for questioning". Police also believe he meant to attack officers as well. Multiple officers were necessary to subdue the armed man. He was jailed on suspicion of attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, wearing body armor during the commission of a felony, resisting, and also for carrying a weapon in a prohibited place.

Phoenix Comicon organizers and Phoenix Police have outlawed all weapons, including costume and prop weapons, for the duration of the event. 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. Should convention and event attendees in the United States be concerned that they might be next?

Police said extra security is being added with additional screening and fewer accessible entrances to the building.

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