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Victims of deadly Phoenix shooting spree wrestle with trauma

Police said two people were killed and five others, including two police officers, were injured in the shooting.
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Posted at 1:37 PM, Aug 30, 2022

PHOENIX — Two people were killed, and five others, including two Phoenix police officers, were injured in a shooting Sunday night outside a Days Inn hotel.

"My daughter and I heard the noises and thought someone was doing fireworks," said Wes Williams.

Williams left his daughter in the room with his adult son and checked out the commotion.

"I was in the hallway coming out. That's how I got shot," said Williams.

The high-caliber rounds grazed the father's jaw and forearm.

"I was just holding a towel on here and bleeding out my arm," said Williams, gesturing to his bruised cheek. "It didn't hit any muscle it just went right -- the door saved me."

The door also saved Timothy Dahling.

"We came out the door we saw a guy with a flashlight, and we didn't know what to do," said Dahling. "And all of a sudden we heard, pop pop pop."

Phoenix police say the suspect has been identified as 24-year-old Isaiah Steven Williams.

According to police, surveillance video reportedly showed the gunman wearing tactical gear and armed with a semi-automatic rifle leaving a room at the motel and going on a shooting spree.

He is shown firing into the motel before turning the rifle at a car pulling into a parking lot. A man and woman inside were killed, police said.

Police said the shooter was reportedly seen throwing a Molotov cocktail at the nearby restaurant, but it did not ignite.

When officers arrived, they were met with gunfire, police said.

One officer was struck in the shoulder, and a second officer was injured by shrapnel.

Police said after exchanging gunfire with police, he appears to have taken his own life.

Police said incendiary devices, extra magazines, and a gas mask were found near Williams.

Dahling said he got a good look at Williams.

"I think it was a gas mask and a helmet," said Dahling. "He was dressed in all black."

"He was geared up to kill people," exclaimed Dahling.

Police have not released the names of the two victims who died.

Three other bystanders were treated at local hospitals and were later released, police said.

"It's devastating, it really is. It's heartbreaking," said Sara Mann, who was staying inside the hotel.

Mann was staying at the Days Inn for a business trip when she heard the gunfire. She immediately ran and hid in the shower.

She is now heading home to Texas, worried about PTSD.

"He was right on top of me. He knocked on my window," said Mann, recalling the suspect's shooting spree. "It's hard. You hear sounds and you're just nervous."

Williams said he is already on anxiety medicine after his first encounter with life-altering violence in 2008.

"I was involved in a home invasion where I got stabbed twice and killed both the intruders," said Williams."My sister said I'm a cat. I got nine lives."

Wes, Sara, and Timothy are now left wrestling with the dueling emotions.

"I guess I feel lucky... I'm not dead," said Williams.

But each of them knows that others are not lucky.

"It could've been anybody," said Mann, holding back tears.

Williams told ABC affiliate KNXV that the biggest challenge now is not his numb ear. It is the financial fallout.

He had to find a new hotel to stay at with his children. His son's car was also completely shot up in the spree.

A fundraiser has been started to help Williams and his kids out.

Police are still trying to determine the motive behind the attack.

Zach Crenshaw at KNXV first reported this story.