PD: Suspect had guns, knife, pepper spray and throwing stars at Phoenix Comicon

Posted at 12:40 PM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-27 17:01:43-04

A heavily armed suspect has been arrested after he entered Phoenix Comicon and threatened to kill officers and a performer. 

Phoenix police arrested 29-year-old Mathew Sterling at the Phoenix Convention Center on Thursday.

Police received a call from the Hawthorne Police Department in California warning them about Sterling. A witness told them Sterling sent them a Facebook message stating he was threatening to shoot officers and was heavily armed.

RELATED: 4 security changes to Comicon after armed man arrested

Police say that in addition to the messages, Sterling also sent photos of officers while he was sitting on the second floor of the convention center.  

In the message, Sterling stated to the witness, he "was going to be in a showdown with cops and would kill them."

Officers found Sterling on the second floor and immediately took control of him as Sterling resisted.

Police say all the weapons Sterling possessed were real and loaded. They included a shotgun, three .45 caliber handguns, a combat knife, pepper spray and throwing stars. He was also wearing body armor under his clothes

According to court records, Sterling also had a calendar reminder set on his smartphone saying “Kill JDF,” which is believed to stand for Jason David Frank — the actor who is best known for his role as the original green Power Ranger.

Police believe Sterling may be mentally disturbed. He stated to police that, "He was the Punisher," a popular comic book character that punishes evildoers.

Sterling reportedly explained to police that he can tell the difference between the "good" and "bad" officers. 

Sterling has been booked on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, wearing body armor during the commission of a felony, resisting arrest and carrying a weapon in a prohibited place.