It looks like Phoenix Comicon 2017 is starting off with a bang, although thankfully not an actual bang as police arrested a body armored man carrying a shotgun, three pistols, and a knife on the first day. This incident has caused the convention management to ban all props for the rest of the convention.Police released this statement:
The suspect was found to be in possession of three handguns, a shotgun, a knife, ammunition, and a variety of other handheld weapons along with wearing body armor. He was immediately removed from the venue and taken to police headquarters for questioning.
After some investigation by the local news, pictures were found of local law enforcement posted by the arrested man on his social media with threatening messages.
Phoenix Comicon released this Facebook message after the arrest:
Convention Director Matthew Solberg here with an important and urgent message:
In light of recent events, Phoenix Comicon, in cooperation with the Phoenix Convention Center and the Phoenix Police Department, will be implementing enhanced screening to ensure the safety of all our attendees. This screening includes three dedicated access points, no longer allowing costume props within our convention or the Convention Center, and other methods as determined in conjunction with the Convention Center and Phoenix Police Department. We anticipate some delays as you are entering the building and we encourage you to carry as little as possible to make the process easier.
These new policies will take effect starting tomorrow, Friday, May 26th.
The three access points for entrance into the Convention Center with those who have a valid badge:
West Building entrance at 2nd Street, between Washington and Monroe.
Third Street at Washington
Third Street at Monroe
For those who need to collect their badge from registration you will ONLY be able to use the access point at Third Street at Monroe.
Con on Third will no longer be open to the public, and will require a valid badge to enter.
Costume props will no longer be allowed on-site. All costume props should be left at home, in your car, or in your hotel room. This includes costume props for staff, crew, costuming groups, panelists, and participants in the masquerade ball. Any panels or activities impacted by this change will be updated on the website soon.
All costume props are no longer allowed, including foam and cardboard props, shields and sabers. Purchased props will be wrapped by the vendors and must remain so while they are on-site. We encourage you to take your purchases to your car or hotel as soon as possible after purchase.
We understand these are last minute changes as a result of recent events.
We appreciate your patience as we continue to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all our patrons and we look forward to a great event.
Incidents like this could spell drastic changes to the comic convention landscape, because of course one idiot is going to ruin it for everyone. The convention can’t really be faulted for taking such action if they didn’t and another incident took place and Lord forbid someone was injured or killed the convention would be sued out of existence.
What do you think should be done?
There is now video of his arraignment: