New reports reveal background of north Phoenix mass shooting suspect

On the night of August 28, Isaiah Williams walked out of the motel room he was staying in dressed for a gun battle – he had a ballistic vest, helmet, gas mask, and a loaded AR-15 rifle.

Phoenix Police say Williams randomly fired around 200 rounds, aiming at buildings, cars, and people. A white sedan happened to pull into the parking lot while Williams was on his rampage. Two people inside the car were killed, and three others escaped the hail of bullets.

Officers arriving on the scene were greeted by a barrage of bullets. Two officers were shot, and Williams later turned the gun on himself.

In newly-released reports, we learned Williams' parents thought he would harm himself, so they took a rifle and handgun away from him. They say the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of job offers, and racial tensions "all weighed heavily on him."

A high school friend of Williams described him as a "normal, athletic student raised by a good family."

But in 2020, the friend noticed Williams' social media posts became increasingly anti-government and anti-law enforcement.

Another friend of Williams, who is in the military, told police he had a three-hour phone conversation with Williams on the day of the shooting. Williams said he would consider moving to Iraq and fighting with Kurdish forces, saying he wanted to fight for something. 

Phoenix Police are conducting an internal investigation and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office is also investigating.

The officers who were shot are recovering.

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