The chilling 54-second cellphone video begins with a child-size pair of expensive sneakers being placed on the front seat of a car. The voice on the video said he put them in plain view to "set up a trap for these looters." The car door closes and the camera pans to a nearby home's upstairs window. "But little do they know that's my window right there into my room," the voice on the video says. "Sniper tower."
It had been five days since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody when this video surfaced. Protests — and some looting — had broken out in several U.S. cities, including Scottsdale, Ariz., where the video was shot.
As it continues, now from inside the upstairs bedroom, the man turns the camera on himself as he is holding an assault rifle and wearing an AutoNation Inc. polo shirt. "Fear nothing," he says.
The man, Raymond Trzaskos, was quickly identified on social media as an employee of AutoNation Subaru Scottsdale. People posted one-star Yelp reviews for the dealership and called for the company to fire Trzaskos. "Any updates?" one post said. "We won't let this go until we know it's taken care of," another warned.
On Twitter, where the video has been viewed more than 2.6 million times, AutoNation's social media team began damage control. It provided several statements saying the retailer would not tolerate racism of any kind and was working with local law enforcement on the situation.
"We will not put up with that," Cannon said.