Police are redoubling their efforts in the search for a Phoenix, Arizona serial killer — dubbed the “Phoenix Serial Street Shooter” — after another shooting that occurred on July 11, brought the number of incidents linked to the serial shooter up to nine since March.
Phoenix police officers had begun to hope that the serial shootings had come to an end after an incident in mid-June left two women and a 12-year-old girl dead, but evidence in the July 11 shooting links the crime to another eight shootings attributed to the mysterious Phoenix serial killer. A total of seven people have been killed since the serial shooter’s first attempt in March.
According to ABC15 News, on March 17, an unnamed 16-year-old boy was shot around 11:30 p.m, while walking alone down a street in Phoenix, Arizona. He survived the attack. A second unnamed man, who also survived, was shot while standing near his car before midnight on March 18. The first death attributed to the Phoenix serial killer occurred on April 1. Twenty-one-year-old Diego Verdugo-Sanchez was standing outside the home of his pregnant fiancee’s family when a vehicle approached and a man inside the car opened fire. Verdugo-Sanchez was taken to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
On April 19, the body of a second victim was discovered when police were called to perform a welfare check after neighbors near 32nd Street and Van Buren Street in the Phoenix area reported hearing gunshots. Fifty-five-year-old Krystal Annette White was found on the side of the road, dead from gunshot wounds. The third death occurred on June 3, when 32-year-old Horacio Pena was shot outside his home after returning home from work. Pena had been shot multiple times. A week later, on June 10, 19-year-old Manuel Castro Garcia was sitting in his car outside his home when he was approached by a vehicle. The driver of the vehicle held a brief conversation with Garcia before shooting and killing him.
The Phoenix serial killer struck again for a seventh time on June 12 when two women — 31-year-old Angela Linner and 33-year-old Stephanie Ellis — and a 12-year-old girl, were ambushed outside their home. Linner and the young girl were found dead inside a car, while Ellis, the mother of the young girl, was transported to a hospital with critical injuries sustained from more than a dozen gunshot wounds. She died in hospital on July 7. Later that same night, officers found an unoccupied car had been shot up, with evidence linking it to the serial street shooter.
A solid description of the serial killer has not yet been obtained by officers, though witnesses in two separate incidents have provided detectives with a rough sketch. The man is believed to have access to multiple vehicles and are looking into the possibility that he may work as a mechanic, or at a used car lot. He has been reported as driving a white Cadillac or Lincoln, as well as a dark colored 5 series BMW, reports NBC News.
In the most recent shooting, the Phoenix serial killer fired on a car occupied by a 21-year-old man and 4-year-old boy in the early morning hours of July 11. Thankfully, neither were injured.
Phoenix Police Chief Joseph Yahner says the FBI has recently joined in the investigation, but they are hoping that someone from the community will step up and provide officers with a name.
“Someone out there knows who did this. We need our community to call us or Silent Witness and help us solve these cases, bring justice to these families and victims, and prevent more violence from occurring.”
Anyone with information regarding the Phoenix serial killer is asked to call Phoenix police at 602-261-6141, or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. A $50,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the Serial Street Shooter’s arrest.
[Image via Phoenix Police Department]