Phoenix police have launched a manhunt for what they believe is a serial killer on the loose, shooting people seemingly at random in their cars or driveways, and always at night, reports the Wall Street Journal. Of the seven people killed since April 1, six died just miles apart in Maryvale, a low-income, racially diverse community. Some Maryvale residents are starying stay indoors at night for safety. thers attended a community meeting to learn more about the investigation. A vigil has been held to honor the victims and their families.
Forensic evidence and witness statements link the crimes and led investigators to believe they are the work of a serial killer, said Phoenix Police Sgt. Jon Howard. A task force, including city, county and federal authorities, is overseeing the investigation. City leaders say help from citizens could be a key to solving the murders. The reward for help in catching the killer has been lifted to $30,000 from $1,000. Those killed ranged in age from 12-year-old Maleah Ellis, who was shot in a car outside her home with her mother and a family friend, both of whom also died, to 55-year-old Krystal Annette White, found dead on a street in downtown Phoenix. Detectives have released several sketches of a suspect as outreach efforts intensify. Today, Daniel Valenzuela, a city councilman who represents a district that includes Maryvale, will host a televised phone bank with help from Univision Arizona in an effort to glean more information on the shootings and the suspect.