Three teenagers were arrested in Phoenix after allegedly shooting a photographer in Encanto Park. According to the Phoenix Police Department, the photographer was taking photos in the park when the boys asked him to take their picture. After photographing them, they shot him nine times, and it was the photos he’d taken that helped the police identify the suspects.
The 33-year-old photographer chose to stay anonymous, and he’s referred to as “CT.” On 12 September around 9 pm, he was taking photos with his camera on a tripod in Encanto Park. Three teenagers approached him and asked him to take their photo. He initially said that he charges $20 for photos, but then he agreed to take pictures of them for free.
After having their photos taken, the boys spoke to CT using a racial slur. He kindly said “My man, you can’t say the N-word. You’re not black.” However, the teens continued, and shortly after this, two of them took out their guns and shot the photographer nine times.
Since CT was live streaming his evening on Facebook Live, he captured the entire incident on camera. You can see it in the video below, but keep in mind that you may find it disturbing and difficult to watch. I know I have.
Although this was certainly a terrible incident, there were some fortunate events in it after all: the teens left CT’s phone and camera behind. So, after getting shot, CT somehow managed to call 911 and they took him to the hospital. Even though he suffered critical injuries, his condition is stable now and he’s expected to make a full recovery.
Since the teenagers didn’t take the camera or destroy the memory card, the police were able to identify them from their photos CT had previously taken. According to the police reports, two of the shooters are 18, and one is 17 years old. They were arrested in connection with the shooting, and two of them still had the handguns at the time of the arrest.
Speaking to ABC15, CT said “I’m here because of the blessing of God. I’m here because I have a purpose on earth.” He said that he would just ask the suspects – why? “I was nothing but nice to them,” he added.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help CT cover his medical costs, so you can donate if you’d like to help.