Acquaintance describes Ready as imposing but charismatic
by KTAR Newsroom (May 3rd, 2012 @ 9:48pm)
Friends and neighbors of 39-year-old Jason Todd Ready are now helping the public get a better sense of who he was.
Jhonny Walsh was on the phone with his girlfriend, who lives next door to Ready when shots were fired at the home, and had spoken to Ready on multiple occasions.
Police say Ready, a former Marine with ties to neo-Nazi and Minutemen groups, is responsible for shooting four people and taking his own life in a suburban Phoenix home on Wednesday.
Walsh said that Ready was very approachable, but a bit imposing at times.
"Every few weekends he would be outside with a hug posse of his people," Walsh said. "They'd have a lot of guns, and their dogs would be out. They'd have a huge map set up like in the movies, spread out on the hood of a car and they'd talk about the next places they'd hit up on the border."
Walsh said that Ready would act and talk as if he were part of the border patrol, but wouldn't exactly say so.
"He projected himself as being a member of the border patrol," said Walsh. "He didn't always outright say that, but he would wear a badge and a shirt."
The guns, groups of people and quiet family were enough for Walsh to be curious about Ready.
"I'd see the guy late at night in and out of his garage all the time," Walsh said. "He was never mean, but he was a very strong individual."
Authorities say that the four others killed were 15-month-old Lily Lynn Mederos; 23-year-old Amber Nieve Mederos; 47-year-old Lisa Lynn Mederos and 24-year-old Jim Franklin Hiott.
Lisa Mederos was Ready's girlfriend and Amber and Lily were her daughter and granddaughter.
Walsh's girlfriend knew the family personally, and spent time with the girls. He said that members of the family who were once very social with his girlfriend became distant when Ready came into the picture.
"Lisa was more open and talkative before J.T. came into the picture. Once he became involved, it made you think that he was sheltering or hiding them away," Walsh said.
Walsh did say, however, that he was charismatic enough that any doubts you had about him would go away once you talked to him.