PD: Man armed with guns and knives arrested at Phoenix Comicon

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Mathew Sterling, 29 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Mathew Sterling, 29 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
The man was wearing dark clothing but police didn't say if it was dressed up as a character. (Source: Mathew Blades in the Morning) The man was wearing dark clothing but police didn't say if it was dressed up as a character. (Source: Mathew Blades in the Morning)
The 30-year-old Valley man, who has not been identified, had three handguns, a shotgun, a knife, ammunition and a "variety of other handheld weapons," police said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The 30-year-old Valley man, who has not been identified, had three handguns, a shotgun, a knife, ammunition and a "variety of other handheld weapons," police said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The suspect was posting threats against Phoenix police officers on social media, police said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The suspect was posting threats against Phoenix police officers on social media, police said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Mathew Sterling, 31 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Mathew Sterling, 31 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

There were scary moments inside Phoenix Comicon on Thursday afternoon when 29-year-old Mathew Sterling made it inside with multiple weapons after threatening police officers, police said.

[Booking photo: Mathew Sterling, 29]

Sterling was posting threats against Phoenix police officers on social media, according to Sgt. Mercedes Fortune with the Phoenix Police Department. The threats indicated that he was armed and wanted to kill them. The postings included photos of officers working the event, she said.

According to court documents, Sterling was also sending Facebook messages listing a victim by name, Jason David Frank, an actor and popular mixed martial artist who is known for playing the original Green Power Ranger in the kids show, Power Rangers

[RAW VIDEO: Mathew Sterling's initial court appearance]

Frank is scheduled to appear for all four days of the event. Documents also state that Sterling set a reminder on his phone to kill Frank at Comicon on May 25. 

An associate of Sterling's alerted police at the Phoenix Convention Center about the posts, Fortune said.

Sterling had three handguns, a shotgun, a knife, ammunition and a "variety of other handheld weapons," police said. He reportedly was wearing body armor as well.

According to Sterling's booking paperwork, those other handheld weapons included throwing stars and pepper spray.

The armed suspect struggled with officers before he was taken into custody.

He was booked on one count of attempted murder, 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.

Sterling was wearing dark clothing and stated to police that he was the 'Punisher', a popular comic book character that punishes people that do wrong.

No officers were hurt and police said it was an isolated incident.

Sterling is being held on a $1 million cash only bond. 

"You always hear us say if you see something, say something. This is a great example of that. This person saw some behavior that was suspicious. She was receiving information so she alerted law enforcement and obviously ensured our safety as well," Fortune said.

Police said because of what happened, any prop or toy weapons won't be allowed into Phoenix Comicon, which started on Thursday and runs until Sunday. Vendors will still be able to sell toy weapons as long as the item is sealed and the buyer must keep the item sealed until they leave. 

Those attending the event can expect delays because there will be fewer entry points into the Convention Center. There will also be an increased police presence with both uniformed and non-uniformed officers.

Phoenix Comicon said it is offering refunds. People can email them at refund@phoenixcomicon.com.

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