A Phoenix man was sentenced for plotting suicide by releasing radioactive material from Scottsdale’s Fashion Square Mall.
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PHOENIX — A Phoenix man will spend the next 15 years in federal prison for stealing radioactive material that he then planned to release inside Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall as part of a suicide plot.
Jared Trent Atkins (27), was arrested after a long standoff at his apartment on Campbell Avenue and 32nd Street. Police claimed that they had recovered radiography inspection equipment stolen at the time, but didn’t provide any further details.
Court documents almost two years later show that radioactive material can be deadly and could have killed or sickened many others.
According to police Atkins claimed he wanted a felony. “suicide by cop”He drove to a station near his apartment, where he stabbed a clerk in her chest.
Atkins then admitted that he drove to work and stole three Gamma-Ray Projectors. Each contained a core of radioactive Iridium-192 Pellets.
According to the documents, each one could kill a person for an hour within thirty days.
According to police reports, he sent friends text messages. “There’s no easy way to say this, I’ve snapped.”
Atkins told police that he drove to Scottsdale Fashion Square where he intended to make a purchase. “last stand”by releasing radioactive pellets. However, it was 6 AM and the mall was already closed.
Atkins claimed that he drove up Highway 87 towards Payson, and pulled over on the side of the road. He opened one of three containers and told police he was going to dump them all around to get rid of radiation poisoning.
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Atkins drove home from work and locked himself in his apartment, despite the fact that Atkins’ accusers have not yet explained why.
Hours later, Atkins surrendered and was negotiated with. Police also recovered the Iridium as well as the tools.
“What’s troubling about this case is this is an insider job,”Ioanna Iliopulos is an adviser at the Nuclear Threat Institute.
“That’s really enough radiation to cause severe radiation sickness or death after minutes,”She spoke.
Iliopulos claimed that Atkins’ plan was one ingredient short of a bomb, but he didn’t possess an explosive. Radiation alone would have caused damage regardless.
“You could give people a very high dose of radiation,” Iliopulos said. “Because they don’t know it’s there.”
As part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Atkins pleaded guilty to using a weapon of Mass Destruction.
He was sentenced for 15 years in federal prison