Police say the man was inside the Phoenix Convention Center and struggled with officers before he was detained. He was also wearing body armor under his clothes. This had lead to increased security checks and a ban being placed on all prop weapons for the remainder of the convention.
Police say that in addition to the messages, Sterling also sent photos of officers while he sitting on the second floor of the convention center.
"This is a great win for the Phoenix Police Department in showing that we as a community work so well with the information that is provided to us", Fortune stated.
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According to the state-owned Defense Times newspaper, the launchers were installed to combat Vietnamese military divers. Tuejeh said an investigation is underway to find out why the weaponry, purchased from China in 2003, malfunctioned.
Officers found Sterling on the second floor and immediately took control of him as Sterling resisted the officers. Multiple officers were necessary to subdue the armed man. Vendors will still be allowed to seal sealed toy weapons, but the police will require buyers to keep the packages unopened until exiting the venue.
The man was wearing all black at the time of the incident but police couldn't determine if he was dressed in a costume. Should convention and event attendees in the United States be concerned that they might be next?
There will be additional screening and security that will decrease entry points to the venue, possibly causing delays.