911 calls released

Police Release 911 Calls In Hopes Of New Lead On Phoenix Serial Killer [Audio]

It’s been seven months since a drive-by serial killer began targeting residents of Phoenix, and there has been very little progress in the case. For this reason, police officials have taken the step of releasing the 911 calls of the victims’ relatives in hopes of gaining new tips. Each of the recordings involves the family members begging for police assistance. One woman spoke emotionally about the March 18 shooting of her brother, as NBC News shares.

“My brother — they just shot him. Just right in front of my house.”

Although the recordings simply capture the horror and panic that the actions of the unknown killer produced, and provide no new clues, police are hoping that the calls will bring compassion to anyone who may know about the killings, prompting individuals who possibly do, to step forward.

“We’ve done what we can do forensically and it has not helped us solve the case,” Sgt. Jonathan Howard said Thursday. “We’re still hoping for that one piece of the puzzle and we think that will come from the community. We’re confident that somebody knows something.”

Investigators on the case have linked nine shooting between the dates of March 17 and July 11 of 2016 by way of physical evidence. Seven people have died, one victim having been a 12-year-old girl.

Nancy Pena is frustrated by the lack of progress in the case. Her twin brother, Horacio, was shot and killed on June 3 when he was returning home from his job at a group home.

“In the beginning, I had all this hope like we are going to get him and now I feel it’s faded,” she said. “Like he got away with it.”

At this point, it seems that the suspect has stopped targeting and killing innocent individuals. Cliff Van Zandt, former FBI profiler, and an NBC News analyst says that there are a variety of reasons that the suspect may have stopped the killing spree.

“Sometimes it means there was so much attention the shooter is smart enough to say, ‘We better lay low for a while.’ Or sometimes we see the shooter has been arrested for some nondescript crime. It could be something has changed in their life — a marriage or a job change. Or they may have moved, temporarily or permanently.”

Although the suspect has seemingly stopped for a three month period, it does not mean the individual won’t kill again, Van Zandt shares. “For some, it’s like emotional heroin,” he said. “They get a high and then they get off and then that old itch comes back again.”

By releasing the 911 calls, Phoenix police officials are certainly taking a large risk, depending on how the release plays outs. The publicity of the calls may bring forth an important lead and prompt any one with any knowledge about the suspect to step forward. However, it could result in more harm than good. The emotions and result of the killer’s actions may inspire the killer to go out and hunt more victims. The calls may ignite a drive for the suspect to regain that “high” which Van Zandt mentions,

“You don’t want to challenge someone to go out and kill again,” Van Zandt said.

Unfortunately, however, the analyst does state that the release of the calls is authorities’ best chance at catching the suspect at this point. He sheds light on the terrible reality of the situation, stating, “Many times — it’s a terrible thing to say — we have to wait until the next shooting.”

After nine shootings and seven dead from these senseless acts, the families of the victims simply want answers and to ensure the killer who took their loved ones from them is permanently off the streets.

[Feature Image by George Frey/Getty Images]