Police offer $100,000 to solve serial shootings - East Valley Tribune: Phoenix & The Valley Of The Sun

Police offer $100,000 to solve serial shootings

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Posted: Wednesday, July 12, 2006 1:05 pm | Updated: 3:46 pm, Wed Jun 19, 2013.

After a year and more than 30 shootings, Phoenix police are offering a $100,000 reward for information that could lead them to a serial shooter. On Tuesday, police announced that they believe a serial shooter who last fired at two people Saturday is believed to be is connected to 34 of 38 random shootings in Phoenix and the West Valley.

Four people have died.

Police also are looking for the so-calleda "Baseline Rapist," linked to five other murders, who is still at large.

"For reasons most of us will never understand, the world has always had its share of people with bad intentions," Mayor Phil Gordon said Tuesday at a press conference. "Right now in Phoenix we're chasing at least two of these monsters."

More than 100 officers and detectives are working full-time to find who is behind the violence, and the city has pledged all resources, Police Chief Jack Harris said.

Police are asking for the public's help, and they're offering a reward.

City leaders asked the public to call the city's Silent Witness tip line with any information that might solve the two serial cases.

"Someone knows who these people are, or has information that will lead us to them," Harris said.

Previously, police had said there were possibly three serial criminals: two random shooters and a rapist.

The first series of shootings started in May 2005 in the West Valley with animals initially being the target.

The person then progressed to people. There were 25 shootings.

On May 2, a second series started with 13 people injured.

The most recent shootings occurred early Saturday morning — one near 44th Street and Devonshire Avenue and a second at 5012 E. Van Buren St.

"We are now of the opinion that this is one series," police Cmdr. Bill Louis said of the shootings.

So far, there is little information available about the serial shooter.

"We have no description," Louis said. "It has been very perplexing for us because we have no witnesses, with limited information that the victims have seen."

Police believe a single suspect is behind the shootings, but acknowledge that multiple people could be involved. They've refused to disclose what type of weapon was used.

The shootings have several similarities.

The victims have been shot while walking down the street, riding bicycles and sitting alone late at night and early in the morning. In some cases, multiple shootings took place on the same day, and they all occurred in the same geographic area.

Police say the shooter is using a vehicle, likely a light-colored, medium-sized, four-door sedan.

Louis wouldn't say if the person is firing from the vehicle while it's moving, parking it and shooting from the inside, or getting out and firing.

While much of Tuesday's press conference focused on the serial shooter, police continue to hunt for the Baseline Rapist.

Along with the five slayings, he is believed to be responsible for sexual assaults, robberies and kidnappings that began Aug. 6.

Despite the crimes, Gordon told Phoenix-area residents not to be victims of fear. He urged residents to go out, but be cautious.

No one should put themselves in dangerous situations, but everyone should continue to lead their lives, Gordon said.

Police advise residents to report any suspicious vehicles and activity as officers continue to investigate these crimes.

"Let me assure the public and those who will terrorize this community at the same time that the Phoenix police will work these cases hour after hour, day after day, and if necessary, year after year and never stop," Gordon said.

Anyone with information should call Silent Witness at (480) WITNESS, or (480) 948-6377.

Learn more: Phoenix police are holding a community meeting 7 p.m. today at Loma Linda School, 2002 E. Clarendon Ave., where they will discuss the recent string of crimes.

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