Bloody night of shootings reached across Valley - East Valley Tribune: News

Bloody night of shootings reached across Valley

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Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:41 pm | Updated: 3:45 pm, Wed Jun 19, 2013.

It was easily the bloodiest night of the killing spree.

Beginning in Tempe, he worked his way into the heart of Phoenix, passing within sight of the state Capitol, and then cruised back toward the suburbs.

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Witness: Hausner confessed to shooting

Along the way, authorities say, Serial Shooter suspect Dale Hausner killed two men and three animals. He also wounded another man, a prostitute and a pair of dogs.

On Thursday, as part of his eight-count murder trial in Maricopa County Superior Court, the Mesa man listened silently as survivors of that night talked about their experiences.

It was just four days after Christmas 2005, and prosecutors say it took Hausner all of three hours to unloose havoc across the Valley.

"I kind of panicked a little bit," said Clarissa Rowley, a 24-year-old who was working as a prostitute on Van Buren Street in Phoenix when she was shot. "I sort of ran a few steps, then somebody pulled up to the side of the curb and offered to take me to the hospital."

Rowley was hit with a shotgun blast on her left side while walking the street looking for a client.

She saw the barrel of a shotgun poke out of a car before the blast. Her right hand caught most of the pellets as she tried to block her face from the shot.

Despite subsequent surgeries and medical treatment, she testified, she still has a shotgun pellet lodged in her neck.

Rowley's story has been similar to that of many of the earliest victims of the shooting spree, which authorities say lasted from May 2005 to August 2006.

Many were down and out. Some were homeless. Some had mental illnesses. Others were junkies out getting high.

They all had a common thread: They were on the streets at the wrong time.

That's when, according to prosecutors, Hausner took aim at the easy targets and pulled the trigger. Sometimes he did it alone, authorities say, and sometimes with his friend and roommate, Samuel Dieteman.

Hausner maintains his innocence, pleading not guilty to the charges against him, though Dieteman pleaded guilty to two murders and agreed to testify against his old friend.

Timmy Tordai, 42, was another survivor of the Dec. 29, 2005, rampage. And again, he was living a humble life with a checkered past.

Tordai was, and still is, a high-risk sex offender being tracked by the state after a conviction on attempted child molestation.

That night, he was making his way from work to his home at a Phoenix halfway house when he felt something hit him in the back. The blow knocked him to the ground.

"I did hear a pop, but it seemed like I was having a heart attack at first," Tordai testified, "until I saw the blood."

After a minute or two on the ground, Tordai picked himself up and walked the remaining half-block to the house at Ninth and Woodland avenues in Phoenix.

"I picked up my headphones and my hat and proceeded to go home," he said. When he got there, "I knocked on the manager's door and said, 'I think I've been shot.'"

It turned out that Tordai was the third person shot within a few minutes that night in a small pocket of the city. The other two, Jose Ortis, 44, and Marco Carillo, 28, died on the street.

Prosecutors say the shootings of that night began in Tempe with Hausner shooting up the vacant car of a woman who filed a sexual harassment complaint against a friend of his.

Earlier this week, that friend, John Kane, said Hausner confessed the lone shooting to him but hinted at others.

If true, the Tempe shooting outside ABC Bartending School near Mill Avenue and Baseline Road would have been the first of at least eight that night. On no other date, according to prosecutors, did the Serial Shooters carry out more than three crimes.

During testimony Thursday, a Phoenix police detective said Hausner's car may have also been spotted by a surveillance camera near the scenes of the Tordai, Ortis and Carillo shootings.

Phoenix police Detective Cliff Jewell, one of the lead investigators on the case, said a camera at the corner of 10th Avenue and Adams Street spotted a silver Toyota Camry pass through the intersection four times just minutes after the shootings.

Jewell did not flat-out say that the camera had captured Hausner's car. However, when authorities arrested Hausner and Dieteman in August 2006 at a Mesa apartment, they also seized a silver Toyota Camry parked outside. The description of both cars is identical.

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