Phoenix police arrested three Latino men who reportedly shot a Black photographer after he told them to stop using the n-word.
On Sept. 12, a 33-year-old man was taking photos at Encanto Park when two men and one boy, 18-year-old Ricardo Mendoza-Sanchez, 18-year-old Angel Ortega Romero and unarmed 17-year-old Angel Ortega Romero, asked the photographer to take a photo of them. After taking the photo, the group then started to yell racial slurs at him.
When he told them not to use that language, the men proceeded to shoot him nine times. Police say the photographer suffered serious injuries, but he has since started to recover. Footage via Fox 10 Phoenix recorded 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.”
The men shot him right after the exchange. “I’m here because of the blessing of God,” the victim told ABC15. “I’m here because I have a purpose on earth.” Mendoza-Sanchez was arrested on Sept. 17, and the other two were arrested on Sept. 25. When Romero was being arrested, he pulled a gun on the police, but the weapon was taken before he could use it. Authorities performed a search warrant for two homes where police found methamphetamine, four handguns, and a ballistic vest.
The shooters face possible charges of aggravated assault, misconduct involving weapons, resisting arrest, and gang activity. Police were able to track down the men because of the photo the victim took. “I would just ask them why?” the victim added. “Why they did it? I was nothing but nice to them.”