Phoenix Police Say Deadly Serial Shooter Now Linked to 9 Cases
PHOENIX (ABC) -
The Phoenix Police Department said it had linked a ninth incident to a deadly serial shooter they say is responsible for killing least seven people from March to June in the Arizona city.
The newest incident came on July 11, when the suspect shot at a vehicle in a residential area.
"The victim's vehicle was occupied by two people at the time of the shooting, a 21 year old man and a 4 year old boy. Neither victim was injured during the assault," said an Aug. 3 release posted on the department's website.
Authorities said they believed the shooter had access to multiple vehicles, including but not limited to a white Cadillac or Lincoln type vehicle and a black late 1990s or early 2000s 5 Series BMW.
At least nine people have been shot in the incidents, which have occurred mostly in the city's Maryvale area and terrified residents.
Seven were fatally wounded, including a mother and her young daughter. It remained unclear whether the victims were targeted or selected at random.
"These incidents involve somebody intent on doing harm," Sgt. Jonathan Howard told ABC News in an earlier interview. "In all of these instances, or in the vast majority of the instances, witnesses are reporting that the man was out of his car. This isn't an opportunity where he's driving down the road, at a distance without personal interaction, shooting a gun. This is a guy who's getting out of his car and walking over, getting close."
Phoenix police said they were searching for the person responsible for these incidents:
March 17: A 16-year-old was shot while walking near 1100 E. Moreland St. at 11:30 p.m. His injuries were not life-threatening.
March 18: A 21-year-old man was shot while standing in the street outside his car at 4300 N. 73rd Ave. around 11:30 p.m. His injuries were not life-threatening.
April 1: A 21-year-old man, Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, was killed in an apparent drive-by shooting in his car at 5500 W. Turney Ave. around 9 p.m.
April 19: A 55-year-old woman, Krystal Annette White, was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound at 500 N. 32nd St. around 4:30 a.m.
June 3: A 32-year-old man, Horacio De Jesus Peña, was found dead in front of a home at 6700 W. Flower St. around 9:50 p.m.
June 10: A 19-year-old man, Manuel Castro-Garcia, was fatally shot in front of a friend's home on the 6500 block of W. Coronado Road.
June 12: An unoccupied car was shot at 62000 W. Mariposa Drive around 2:35 a.m. The car was damaged, but no one was hurt.
June 12: Three people were shot and killed in front of a home at 6300 W. Berkeley Road. Stefanie Ellis, 33, was arriving home with her daughter Maleah Ellis, 12, and friend Angela Linner, 31, when they were shot.
Authorities released a composite sketch of the suspect with the help of a witness.
The Phoenix Police Department is reaching out to the community for tips regarding the shootings and raised the reward to $50,000 for information leading to the suspect's arrest.