Arizona Serial Shooter Hits New Victim


He's struck again.

Police believe that the person who shot a man riding his bicycle through Mesa, Ariz., in the early morning hours this past weekend is a "serial shooter" who has stalked the Phoenix area for nearly a year. Police say the victim survived.

See the full story on "Nightline" at 11:35 ET tonight.

If the latest shooting is the work of the same person, it would make three dozen attacks by the notorious assailant in the last 11 months. He's accused of killing five people.

That would be bad enough for a city known for its safe, comfortable lifestyle.

But this summer Phoenix residents are also anxious about a second serial killer, the so-called Baseline Killer, named after the broad boulevard that runs through the southern neighborhoods of this sprawling city of 1½ million people.

Just today, two additional victims were added to the Baseline Killer's "resume." Police forensics made the match on a couple of women who were killed in a catering wagon early in the morning on a job site on Feb. 20.

So far the two killers have been blamed for the apparently random fatal shootings of 13 people, killing sprees that have terrorized the Valley of the Sun.

"In my 30 years in the Phoenix Police Department, this is by far the most serious set of crimes that I have seen," Phoenix Police Lt. Bob Sparks said as he patrolled the downtown streets one recent weekday night. Periodically, he'd roll down his window and check on those walking alone through darkened neighborhoods.

"You doing OK? Just saw somebody behind the building here … wanted to check," he said to a man.

Police describe the Baseline Killer as a black man who may use a disguise that includes fake dreadlocks and a floppy hat. He is suspected of killing seven women and one man. He's also accused of committing eight robberies and seven sexual assaults.

At Poncho's Mexican restaurant near Baseline Road, a security camera captured three images of the suspect as he robbed the cash register. In the parking lot outside, he then raped a woman and forced her to watch as he raped her 12-year-old daughter. Despite newly installed lighting and security cameras, employees of he restaurant are not taking any chances.

Blanca Lopez says she's still afraid.

"Yeah, because I work in the evenings, so I don't go out by myself, I wait for my ride," she said.

Another worker who refused to give her name said she had changed her routine when she gets off work late at night.

"I never go out until I see my ride is out there," she said. "I never get out of work and go waiting out there no more. Especially since we live around here you got to be careful."

Farther uptown, the Baseline Killer is suspected of murdering two employees of Yoshi's fast-food restaurant after their late-night shift. Their bodies were found the next day.

Most recently, a 37-year-old mother of two was carjacked at a car wash in the area. She was found dead behind a nearby barbershop. A video camera recorded the attack. Jim Garnand, who owns the car wash, has seen the tape of the attack, which the police have not released.

"Even if they blow it up and enhance it and use all the video techniques in the world, it's not going to give you a clear shot of this guy's face," Garnand said. "He doesn't come up like brandishing a gun. It's nothing like in the movies where you see somebody attacking somebody. He got right up on her."

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