Neighborhood groups doing their part to encourage serial shooting case tipsPosted: Updated:
As the search for the serial shooter or shooters intensifies, neighborhood groups are doing what they can to get the word out about the case and solicit tips.
"I patrol three nights a week, from 12 a.m. to 3 a.m.," said Osborn Block Watch captain Rosa Pastrana.
In the wake of the serial shootings that have left seven dead and two others hurt, Pastrana has organized additional patrols to hand out fliers and encourage people to speak up if they see something suspicious.
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"It's very important you call and not be scared," she tells them.
At times, though, it can be a challenge to get people to speak up. That's because Pastrana says a majority of those who live in Maryvale, where most of the killings have taken place, are Latino and can be fearful of calling the police.
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"Sometimes scared because thinking, 'Oh, maybe they’re looking for my identification, I don’t have identification so they'll call immigration,' so that’s why the people (are) scared to call," she said.
She's working on getting people to trust the police so they'll call in if they have information, or see something unusual.
"Please save your children, your family, your father, your grandma, so please speak," Pastrana said.
This week, the groups got some additional help from Phoenix Police when they released a composite sketch of the shooter.
"This way, at least now the public has somebody they can look for," said Carol Hobbs with the SPARC Neighborhood Association.
In addition to spreading information in their own communities, Hobbs, Pastrana and other block leaders are working together to share information too.
Hobbs says she's expanded her sharing outside of west Phoenix.
“This person or people responsible, they’re not going to stay in one area. They may go to any part of the Valley. The more people we have looking out for this guy, the quicker we’re going to bring this person to justice," she said.
The cases have been forensically linked.
The recently identified cases are:
March 17: At approximately 11:30 p.m., a 16-year-old male was shot while walking in the street in the area of 1100 E. Moreland St. His injuries were not life-threatening.
March 18: At approximately 11:30 p.m., a 21-year-old male was shot while standing in the street outside of his vehicle in the area of 4300 N. 73rd Ave. His injuries were not life-threatening.
April 19: At approximately 4:30 a.m., Krystal Annette White, 55, was found dead from apparent gunshot injuries sustained in the area of 500 N. 32nd St.
June 12: At approximately 2:35 a.m., an unoccupied vehicle was shot and damaged in the area of 6200 W. Mariposa Drive.
Police have previously said the following cases are related to the same shooter or shooters:
April 1: At approximately 9 p.m., Diego Verdugo-Sanchez was shot and killed in front of a home in the area of 5500 W. Turney Ave.
June 3: At approximately 9:50 p.m., Horacio De Jesus Pena was shot and killed in front of a home in the area of 6700 W. Flower St.
June 10: At approximately 9:30 p.m., Manuel Castro Garcia was shot and killed in front of a home in the area of 6500 W. Coronado Road.
June 12: At approximately 3 a.m., Angela Linner, 12-year-old Maleah Ellis and Stefanie Ellis were shot and killed in front of a home in the area of 6300 W. Berkeley Road.
Police are not sure if they are dealing with more than one suspect.
A reward of up to $30,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.
If you have any information about any one of these cases, please call Silent Witness at either 480-WITNESS (948-6377) or 1-800-343-TIPS (8477). Spanish speakers may call 480-TESTIGO (837-8446). (Click or tap phone number to call from this story on your mobile device.) You can remain anonymous.
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