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Phoenix, Arizona police have arrested three men in connection with the shooting of a photographer at Encanto Park this month. As Arizona Central reports, 18-year-old Ricardo Mendoza-Sanchez, 18-year-old Angel Ortega Romero, and an unnamed 17-year-old boy have been arrested.
On Sept. 12, a 33-year-old man was taking pictures at Encanto Park when the three boys asked him to take pictures of them. After he took a picture, they started to yell racial slurs at him. He reportedly told them they shouldn't use such language, and in response two of them proceeded to shoot him nine times. While he suffered serious injuries, police have said that he has started to recover.
Footage via Fox 10 Phoenix has the anonymous victim saying, "My man, I told you, you can't say the N-word, you're not black." One suspect replied, "I say what the [expletive] I want." The victim answered with, "No, you cannot...not in front of me."
Shots were fired immediately afterward. "I'm here because of the blessing of god," the victim told ABC15. "I'm here because I have a purpose on earth."
The arrest of Mendoza-Sanchez was made on Sept. 17, while the other two were made on Sept. 25. At the time of his arrest, Romero attempted to pull a gun on police but the weapon was confiscated before he was able to. Upon executing a search warrant for two homes, police discovered methamphetamine, four handguns, and a ballistic vest.
The suspects are all facing possible charges of aggravated assault, misconduct involving weapons, resisting arrest, and gang activity. Investigators were able to track down those involved because of the picture the victim took shortly before the shooting. "I would just ask them why?" the victim added. "Why they did it? I was nothing but nice to them."