Phoenix Cops Searching for Possible Serial Shooter in 7 Deaths

Police believe eight shootings since March are linked.

July 12, 2016, 4:25 PM

— -- Police in Phoenix are searching for a gunman believed to be responsible for a string of eight shootings, including the deaths of seven people in recent months.

All seven murders have taken place since March, and investigators believe each case is related to what they are describing as the same serial street shooter.

The Phoenix Police Department is searching for the person responsible for these incidents in the Maryvale area:

March 17: A 16-year-old was shot while walking near 1100 E. Moreland St. at 11:30 p.m. His injuries were not life-threatening.

March 18: A 21-year-old man was shot while standing in the street outside his car at 4300 N. 73rd Ave. around 11:30 p.m. His injuries were not life-threatening.

April 1: A 21-year-old man, Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, was killed in an apparent drive-by shooting in his car at 5500 W. Turney Ave. around 9 p.m.

April 19: A 55-year-old woman, Krystal Annette White, was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound at 500 N. 32nd St. around 4:30 a.m.

June 3: A 32-year-old man, Horacio De Jesus Peña, was found dead in front of a home at 6700 W. Flower St. around 9:50 p.m. He was on his way home from work, a family member told ABC Phoenix affiliate KNXV.

June 10: A 19-year-old man, Manuel Castro-Garcia, was fatally shot in front of a friend's home on the 6500 block of W. Coronado Road when a dark sedan stopped next to him, KNXV reported. He was shot after he was heard arguing with someone in the car.

June 12: An unoccupied car was shot at 62000 W. Mariposa Drive around 2:35 a.m. The car was damaged, but no one was hurt.

June 12: Three people were shot and killed in front of a home at 6300 W. Berkeley Road. Stefanie Ellis, 33, was arriving home with her daughter Maleah Ellis, 12, and friend Angela Linner, 31, when they were shot, a family member told KNXV.

Neighbors told KNXV they heard at least nine rounds of gunfire, and Ellis' brother said he heard the gunshots and found the women wounded. Witnesses saw a man leaving the area in a light-colored car moments after the shooting, according to KNXV.

No known incidents have taken place since then, police said.

It is unclear whether the victims were targeted or selected at random and if there are any more possible cases linked to the same shooter.

Detectives were able to create a composite sketch of the suspect with the help of a witness, police said. The Phoenix Police Department is reaching out to the community for tips regarding the shootings and has offered a reward of $30,000 for information leading to the suspect's arrest. The suspect has been described by police as a male in his early 20s, with a skinny or lanky build.

Extra officers have been added to the Maryvale area on nights and weekends, police said.

“Someone out there knows who did this. We need our community to call us or Silent Witness and help us solve these cases, bring justice to these families and victims and prevent more violence from occurring,” said Phoenix Police Chief Joseph Yahner.

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