Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Local | By Vivian Poole

Armed man arrested at Phoenix Comicon

Armed man arrested at Phoenix Comicon

Based on his social media postings, his plan was to kill police officers who were at the con, essentially a domestic terrorism event in the planning.

Mathew Sterling, 29, pictured, brought four loaded guns, a knife, pepper spray and throwing stars to the Phoenix Comicon Thursday. The local man was wearing all black, however, it is unclear if he was in costume or not.

Other props may be allowed, including "wands, sonic screwdrivers, plushies, masks, fairy wings, empty holsters, signs attached to costumes, fur suits, cardboard made costumes and non-weapon props, dishware associated with costumes, empty quivers, hats and helmets, Power Ranger Morphers, and umbrellas".

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"Expect some delays throughout the weekend", Phoenix Police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said during a press conference.

"That person knew that those posts could be credible and immediately alerted law enforcement and prevented a tragedy".

Fans go through security as they enter Comicon at the Phoenix Convention Center, Friday, May 26, 2017, in Phoenix. Check out the comments on the Phoenix Comicon statement above if you don't believe me.

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The police report states that Sterling told them he stabbed the potential victim 15 years ago at an event and wanted to "finish the job".

Police said because of what happened, any prop or toy weapons won't be allowed into Phoenix Comicon, which started on Thursday and runs until Sunday. Multiple officers were necessary to subdue the armed man. Purchased props will be wrapped by the vendors and must remain so while they are on-site. Because of the heightened security, entry lines into the event will likely be slower. As a result of his arrest, prop weapons have been banned for the remainder of the con, and there will be "additional screening procedures" in place for attendees.

As we've previously reported, organizers have also increased security measures, including bag searches, at the convention center. More police will also be present during the event to help keep things in order.

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