Man accused of taking part in shooting at Westgate makes initial appearance in court

The man authorities believe was responsible for a shooting that left three people injured at the Westgate Entertainment District in the West Valley has appeared in court Thursday.

According to Glendale Police officials Wednesday night, calls came in at around 7:25 p.m. of an active shooting situation at Westgate. The shooting left three people injured.

During a news conference on Thursday, police officials say the suspect, identified as 20-year-old Armando Hernandez Jr., admitted to carrying out the shooting and said he intended to injure 10 people.

Armando Hernandez Jr.

During his first court appearance, prosecutors provided a glimpse of Hernandez’s motives for the shooting rampage, using statements he willingly made to investigators.

The 20-year-old was soft-spoken and police in front of the presiding judge Thursday. The public defender representing Hernandez Jr. told the presiding judge that he lives with dad and brother, and has a construction job. Meanwhile, prosecutors painted him as an angry, vengeful outcast with a dark side.

Prosecutors say Hernandez would’ve shot at least 10 people, if his gun hadn’t jammed. Prosecutors also say Hernandez targeted couples, and told police he thought he’d "gain respect" after the shooting

"He had such a deep-seated anger, that the only way he could express that anger was to take it out on as many citizens at Westgate as possible," said the prosecuting attorney.

Hernandez’s attorney argued for a bond that the family could afford.

"No juvenile or adult criminal history. This is his first contact with the legal system," said the attorney.

Hernandez looked shocked when the judge ordered his bond be set at $1 million, cash only. His family did not comment on his arrest, and a sign on a window of the suspect's Peoria home reads "Beware of Owner," and had a picture of a rifle below it.

Neighbors, meanwhile, were shocked to find out the suspected shooter lived on their street.

"A little too close for comfort," said one neighbor. "Never know what goes through people's minds."