An Arizona man who on Wednesday reportedly killed four people, including a 47-year-old grandmother and a 15-month-old infant, and then took his own life was also a former Republican Party official, a former white supremacist neo-Nazi and the founder of a border patrol vigilante group that advocated using violence on immigrants.
On Thursday morning, police in Gilbert, Arizona confirmed that J.T. (Jason Todd) Ready had committed suicide after killing his girlfriend, 47-year-old Lisa Mederos, along with her daughter, her daughter’s boyfriend and her granddaughter, according to The Arizona Republic.
Ready had a history of violence going back to the 1990s. He was arrested for aggravated assault with a weapon in 1992 and then court-martialed twice while in the Marine Corps in 1996. He was discharged after being found guilty of conspiracy, assault, and wrongful solicitation and advice.
After failing to win a bid for the Arizona House of Representatives in 2004, Ready made headlines for firing a pistol at a Latino man while running for Mesa City Council in March 2006. His candidacy ended when an attempt to become master of ceremonies at the Mesa Veteran’s Day parade when his his courts-martial were revealed.
By running unopposed in 2006, Ready successfully secured a position as Maricopa County Republican precinct committeeman in a west Mesa district. In 2007, he gave a speech at a neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) rally as a “Arizona Republican activist.” Later that year, Ready created a profile on NSM’s neo-Nazi New Saxon website.
Even after exposing himself as a white supremacist, ready shared the stage with state Senator Russell Pearce at an anti-immigration rally in June 2007. Pearce later said that he had been unaware of Ready’s neo-Nazi connections.
In an interview with Fox 10, Ready called Pearce, who sponsored Arizona’s anti-immigration SB1070 law, a “surrogate father” who “enlightened him.” Ready had claimed that he had been with Pearce’s son, Josh, when the younger Pearce got a racist tattoo on his neck and chest — an iron eagle with a swastika.
Seven months after Ready distributed racist and anti-Semitic materials at a Republican Committee meeting, Arizona congressmen John Shadegg, Jeff Flake, and Trent Franks wrote to the chairman of the local Republican Party and asked that he be ousted as precinct committeeman.
Jason Todd Ready is a terrorist. You got that? A white, American terrorist.