Green Power Ranger Jason David Frank Speaks Out About Alleged Assassination Attempt
Police arrested a man at the Phoenix Convention Center on Thursday after he made it into the event with multiple weapons, including three guns and a knife, Phoenix police confirmed to PEOPLE in a statement on Sunday.
The suspect has been identified as 31-year-old Mathew Sterling, Phoenix police said in the statement. He was booked for one count of attempted murder, three counts of 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.
The suspect was allegedly targeting Frank, who was appearing at the convention, according to Uproxx. According to court records obtained by ABC 15, the suspect allegedly had a calendar reminder set on his smartphone saying “Kill JDF,” the actors’ initials.
At his initial court appearance, Maricopa County Deputy Attorney Ed Leiter said the suspect indicated he was “going to have a showdown and kill God knows how many more cops,” according to The Arizona Republic.
The actor sustained no injuries and thanked police for their efforts in stopping the gunman.
“I’m very grateful to the Phoenix police department for their brave and outstanding efforts, which avoided a terrible tragedy, as recently seen at the concert in Manchester,” Frank said in a news conference with Fox 10 Phoenix.
Frank said he does not know the person who was arrested, but he will pray for him. He said the incident could affect security across Comic-Cons around the world, as attendees often bring prop weapons to heighten their often-elaborate costumes.
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“This incident is an eye-opening situation to increase and add more securities to all Comic-Cons around the world. Due to the increased securities for the duration of the show, we are banning all prop weapons, however, please do not let this hinder your creativity in the festival atmosphere,” he said.
Indeed, authorities have added additional screening and security to the event, also taking measures to ensure that all prop weapons sold by vendors are kept in their packaging until leaving the event, according to Phoenix police’s statement.
Frank also thanked fans for their support of both him and the convention on Facebook Live.
“You will start hearing stuff on social media. I’m fine. I’m okay. Love y’all. Even though it looks like things don’t faze me, I refuse to have a situation tear me apart mentally. You gotta remember, things could always be worse. Things could’ve been worse. But it wasn’t. You know, everyone is safe, things are okay, and it’s a great thing,” Frank said.