PHOENIX — Ryan Giroux, the suspect in a Mesa mass shooting that left one person dead, is a former Arizona Department of Corrections inmate with a history of police assaults and illegal drug use, according to police and prison records.
Giroux, 41, has a criminal record dating to the early 1990s and served a two-month county jail sentence last year for violating terms of a previous probation. His record includes convictions for drug possession, theft and aggravated assault, according to Arizona Department of Corrections records.
Giroux is accused of gunning down a man in a Mesa motel Wednesday morning, then going on a shooting spree that left five others, including a culinary student, injured.
A Mesa SWAT team took Ryan Giroux, 41, into custody around 1 p.m., in a vacant condominium near Longmore and Emelita Avenue after a massive manhunt that included four other law-enforcement agencies.
Giroux was shot with a Taser, taken to Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa for treatment, then questioned late into Wednesday evening by detectives and investigators. He was expected to be booked into Maricopa County’s Fourth Avenue Jail on multiple charges.
Court records show Giroux has seven felony convictions. He served 7.5 years in prison as part of a plea agreement and was released in October 2013, records show. He also was in state custody in the 1990s.
His most recent prison stint came after his conviction in the assault of two Mesa police officers who were trying to arrest him outside a Circle K convenience store in December 2006, records show.
The clerk said Giroux had shoplifted a bag of potato chips worth 99 cents and, according to court records, he fought with officers who questioned him about it.
Local authorities escort the suspect involved with the shooting of 6 people in Mesa, Az., after finding him in a local apartment complex Wednesday, March 18, 2014. One of the six people shot was killed.
The two officers said they saw the butt of a gun in Giroux’s waistband, records show, and said Giroux kept trying to reach for the weapon while the three men fought. Both officers said they suffered bruises and scrapes on their arms and hands.
Officers arresting Giroux at the time said that his tattoos and notations in a notebook he carried indicated he was in a gang.
Prosecutors recommended the 7.5-year prison sentence, citing Giroux’s six previous felonies.
Those include convictions in California, Washington state and Arizona from 1993 to 1999 for theft, burglary and robbery. In 1999, records show, he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in California.
Upon his 2013 release from prison in Arizona, Giroux still was having problems.
“By the defendant’s own admission, he has the propensity to become violent when he is either intoxicated or using illegal drugs,” Giroux’s probation officer wrote in May 2014. “He has a long arrest history that demonstrates violent behavior.”
The report also noted that Giroux’s mental health “appears to be stable until he uses methamphetamine.”
In the report, Giroux’s probation officer noted that he “wants to change his life around.”
Giroux began to have tattoos removed from his face and hands, the report said. Symbols inked on Giroux’s neck, chin and eyebrows indicate he had gang sympathies, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office veteran Richard Valdemar, an expert on prison gangs.
According to court records, Giroux had complied with some court-ordered steps for rehabilitation. He reported to his probation officer as directed, submitted to drug tests and took part in individualized drug treatment, records show.
Upon his 2013 release from custody, Giroux agreed to conditions that included being screened by Maricopa County’s mental-health court, participating in programs and taking prescribed medications.
The form he signed was standard. Giroux’s mental-health condition is not clear from the documents.
Giroux, though, continued to use methamphetamine. Records show he tested positive for it once and admitted to using it another time. He also admitted to using alcohol and marijuana, though the record shows that he did obtain a medical-marijuana card.
In April 2014, a probation-violation arrest report said Giroux failed to report to the probation department and instead went to Mesa and used methamphetamine. The report also said he was involved in a car accident in which all parties may have left the scene.
There was no additional information in the report, and he was charged with a probation violation.
Court records show Giroux was sentenced to two months in a county jail in May 2014 for violating his probation.