PHOENIX - The man Phoenix police arrested Thursday for carrying four loaded guns inside the Phoenix Convention Center during Phoenix Comicon has been booked for attempted murder and several more charges. A judge set his bond at $1 million on Friday.
Police said 31-year-old Mathew Sterling made threats to harm a performer at the event. Police also believe he intended to attack officers as well.
According to court documents, Phoenix police received a call from the Hawthorne Police Department in California. Hawthorne police said a witness reported reading Facebook messages from Sterling who was posting pictures of Phoenix officers and threatening to shoot them.
Sterling resisted when approached by police at Phoenix Comicon and even ripped off an officer's police patch on his uniform, according to court paperwork. He was eventually overpowered and taken into custody.
Police say Sterling was armed with a shotgun and three handguns that were all fully loaded. He was also carrying a combat knife, pepper spray and throwing stars. Police said he was wearing body armor.
Signs posted throughout the Phoenix Convention Center prohibit these kind of items at the event. Sterling avoided the stations where prop weapons are secured and marked, according to court records.
He later told police in an interview that he believed the signs and law prohibiting weapons at the venue did not apply to him, according to court paperwork.
Court documents show Sterling admitted to carrying the weapons into the venue and told police he was the Punisher -- a popular Marvel comic book character. Sterling said if he deemed the officers to be what he called "Aphrodite officers" or "bad" officers, he would shoot them. He said these types of officers can hide behind kind faces and police badges.
Court paperwork said that in the interview with police and in prior Facebook messages, Sterling said he was at Phoenix Comicon to finish a "job." He said he had stabbed a person -- scheduled to perform for four days at the event -- 15 years ago. He set a calendar reminder in his phone to remind him to kill the person at Comicon on May 25, court records said.
According to court documents, Sterling purchased a four-day pass to the event and told police he believed with the person dead, the person's wife and child would be happy.
Sterling appeared in court for his initial appearance Friday. He did not say a word and is being held on a $1 million bond.
Sterling was also booked for 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.
© 2017 KPNX-TV