Jason Todd Ready, one of the nation’s leading neo-Nazi and anti-immigrant activists, apparently was the gunman who carried out a deadly shooting this afternoon that left five people dead, including himself, in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert.
The gunman, identified as the notorious J.T. Ready by the Arizona Republic and others, was dressed in body armor and equipped with several firearms during the shooting, at an upscale residential area where he lived with his girlfriend. That woman, her 19-year-old daughter, the daughter’s boyfriend and an 18-month-old baby girl initially were identified as the shooting victims.
At the time, Ready was a candidate for sheriff, saying on his website: “The citizens of Pinal County are under constant threat of encountering the horrific reality of terrible violence associated with illegal immigration.”
Ready said he was “more than qualified to serve” as Pinal County sheriff and was the “unquestionable, the common sense choice for sheriff when the public needs safety and security now more than ever.”
Gilbert Police Sgt. Bill Balafas said that at 6 p.m. local time that he couldn’t confirm the identities of any of the victims because investigators had just gotten a search warrant to enter the home at 500 West Tumbleweed.
Three victims – two adult females and an adult male – were found in the home and a second man was found outside the home, Balafas told Hatewatch. Various media accounts reported that the man outside the home was Ready, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and may have been wearing bulletproof armor. Balafas said he couldn’t confirm that information until the victims had been positively identified.
“We found two handguns and a shotgun in the home,” Balafas told Hatewatch. He said he didn’t know what type of weapon, if any, was found near the victim found outside the home.
“We had to get a search warrant from a judge to enter the home, and that has just occurred,” he said.
The infant showed signs of life when police arrived, but she was pronounced dead after being rushed to a local hospital, Balafas said. Gilbert Police Chief Tim Dorn wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Ready is a former member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, the largest neo-Nazi group in America, and an ex-Marine who was court-martialed twice for bad conduct.
In June 2010, after claiming he had left NSM, Ready assembled a group of a dozen or so heavily armed civilians he called the U.S. Border Guard. The militia-style group goal was to locate and arrest immigrants illegally crossing in from Mexico. Ready described the action as “the Minutemen Project on steroids,” a reference to a vigilante anti-immigrant organization that took off in 2005.
Ready also talked about placing landmines on the border and frequently would launch into tirades against Jews and non-whites.
Ready was well known as a friend of Russell Pearce, the legislator responsible for the punishing Arizona anti-immigrant law known as S.B. 1070. Pearce, who rose to state Senate president after promulgating that law, was recalled by voter referendum last year because of his role as the author of the law.