Police probe if Mesa shooting tied to serial killer - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Police probe if Mesa shooting tied to serial killer

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Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 10:18 am | Updated: 3:46 pm, Wed Jun 19, 2013.

Police are investigating a Saturday shooting in Mesa to find out if it's connected with the Serial Shooter, who has targeted parts of the Valley since May 2005.

"We are not 100 percent sure if it is linked, but we want to err on the side of caution and let the community know it's a possibility," said Mesa Sgt. Chuck Trapani.

Like the 34 shootings in the West Valley, Phoenix and Scottsdale that police believe were committed by a serial killer, Mesa's recent shooting occurred in the early morning to a victim who was alone.

The man was riding a bicycle at 4:44 a.m. on Stapley Drive near Brown Road when someone shot him. He suffered nonlife-threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital. Police would not say where the man was hit, and his name hasn't been released.

"When we first heard about the shooting, (the Serial Shooter) was the first thing that popped in our heads," Trapani said. "Our concern is that if it's the same person and we don't put any information out to the public, and it happens again, that we don't want that."

Trapani wouldn't reveal any details of the shooting, such as the type of weapon used or how it was carried out. However, he did say the case has similarities to the serial shootings — one being that the victim could not provide any information on his assailant.

Mesa police are working with other Valley agencies, "comparing notes," Trapani said.

They are reminding residents to be aware of their surroundings and to immediately call 911 for any suspicious activity.

Phoenix police wouldn't comment on the shooting.

"Any time there is a shooting with similarities, and we are notified, I'm sure our investigators will take a look at it," said Phoenix Sgt. Joel Tranter, "but we are not commenting on another agency's case."

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