Police identify 5 killed in Gilbert shooting, including sheriff candidate

GILBERT, AZ - Police said their investigation is leading them to believe a prominent former neo-Nazi is responsible for killing four people in Gilbert and taking his own life Wednesday.

In an email around 5:15 a.m. to ABC15, Gilbert police Sgt. Bill Balafas released the identities of the five people shot and killed, including 39-year-old J.T. Ready who was running for Pinal County Sheriff.

The motive for the shooting is unknown at this time.

The four others shot and killed were identified as 47-year-old Lisa Lynn Mederos, 23-year-old Amber Nieve Mederos, 24-year-old Jim Franklin Hiott, and 15-month-old Lilly Lynn Mederos.

Police said the baby was found alive in the house and later died in a hospital.

The shooting happened around 1 p.m. Wednesday near Cooper and Warner roads.

Sgt. Bill Balafas said police received a 911 call from inside the home reportedly from Lisa Mederos reporting a domestic violence situation. Balafas said the 911 operator heard shot in the background and then the phone went dead.

Ready was known to be a member of the National Socialist Movement who advocated using violence to stop people from crossing the border. In a 2010 interview with ABC15 he discussed his beliefs and showed off his cache of high-powered weapons.

Police stayed mostly out of the house until late in the evening because of hazardous materials inside the home.

In addition to 50-gallon drums filled with an unidentified liquid in the back yard, police also said they found military-grade munitions inside the home.

Members of the military were called in to deal with the weaponry.

Thursday afternoon, Tom Mangan, spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said six 40mm projectile grenades were found in the house.

Mangan said there was no grenade launcher in the home and that it is unusual and prohibited for the general public to have these types of ordnances.

ATF is now trying to figure out where they came from and a unit from Luke Air Force Base was called out to take possession of the devices.

The Gilbert Fire Department Hazardous Materials Team and the Department of Defense assisted in removing the items.

As of 5 a.m. Thursday, local police and members of the FBI were still on scene taking photos and measuring the property with GPS devices.

Police said it's believed to be a domestic situation.

"We have no reason to believe that there's anybody at large as a suspect, that we believe the person that committed these shootings is also dead inside the home," Balafas said.

Police said officers recovered two handguns and a shotgun at the scene. Balafas said, contrary to earlier reports, none of the victims were wearing body armor.

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has responded to the scene to assist Gilbert police in their investigation.

Police are continuing to identify potential witnesses and gathering information from the Maricopa County Medical Examiner.

Investigators are processing through the 911 calls for any evidentiary information. 

MORE: Past ABC15 Coverage of J.T. Ready

Former neo-Nazi running for sheriff in Pinal County

Citizen's group taking border battle into own hands

Neo-Nazi march interrupted by riot in downtown Phoenix

Man with neo-Nazi ties leading patrols in Arizona

Print this article Back to Top

Comments