On May 3, Jason Todd Ready, founder of the U.S. Border Guard, entered a house in Gilbert, Arizona opened fire, killing four people before turning the gun on himself according to Gilbert Police Sgt. Bill Balafas in a Los Angeles Times article.
Ready, 39, who went by “J.T.”, was a former Marine who had been referred to as a racist, an extremist and a bigot who was involved in local politics according to The Times.
The shooting is under investigation, but is being described as a case of domestic violence. The house is where Ready lived with his girlfriend Lisa Lynn Mederos, 47; her daughter, Amber Nieve Mederos, 23; and he daughter’s boyfriend, Jim Franklin Hiott, 24. Ready also shot Amber’s daughter, Lily Lynn Mederos, who was a 15-month-old girl who died while being treated at a hospital The Times reported.
The Associated Press reported via CBS News, that Ready’s Guard group, a volunteer group, dressed in military fatigues and body armor, while carrying assault rifles as they patrolled for illegal immigrants in the desert south of Phoenix.
“We’re not going to sit around and wait for the government anymore,” Ready said in a July 2010 interview with The Associated Press. “This is what our Founding Fathers did.”
Ready tried multiple times to enter the political scene in Arizona and even appeared with former state Senate President Russell Pearce at an anti-illegal-immigration rally in June 2007 according to an article by The Republic via azcentral.com. The article reports that Pearce, who was defeated last November in a recall election and is the first vice chairman of the Arizona Republican Party is running for Senate again for District 26. The new district is in Mesa.
Pearce, who was an author of S.B. 1070 has worked to distance himself from Ready, since he found out about Ready’s extreme views according to an article by the Huffington Post.
“I spent much of my day resisting efforts by those in the media to get me to make a statement. Today’s events have nothing to do with me and no connection to me,” Pearce told AP.
Ready’s ties to other extremist groups included the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group that advocates citizenship for those of “pure White blood,” with “no Jew or homosexual” allowed to be citizens, according to The Times. Ready left the group when he turned his focus towards political offices. Ready was exploring the possibility to run for sheriff in Arizona’s Pinal County.
Huffington Post reported that Ready was a member of a group called the Arizona Minutemen Project. He also received a bad-conduct discharge from the Marines in 1996 after being court-martialed twice The Times reported.
At the top of the U.S. Border Guard website on April 3 was the following comment, “The US Border Guard is extremely saddened by the untimely loss of our founder, J.T. Ready and the other souls lost in such a senseless act of violence. Our sympathies go out to all of his family and friends during this time of unbelievable grief and pain. God bless you, J.T. you will be fiercely missed.”