Who they were: Remembering those killed by the serial shooter, or shooters

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Seven victims in the serial shootings case in Phoenix. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Seven victims in the serial shootings case in Phoenix. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
New sketch of serial street shooter (Source: Phoenix Police Dept.) New sketch of serial street shooter (Source: Phoenix Police Dept.)
Diego Sanchez Diego Sanchez
Krystal White Krystal White
Horacio Pena. Horacio Pena.
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

As the search intensifies for the Phoenix serial street shooter or shooters we wanted to share more details about the people killed.

Diego Sanchez was 21 and had his whole life ahead of him.

"He was just like a huge teddy bear, he was so kind, all he did was laugh," his longtime girlfriend Marina Smith said.

Sanchez she said was making a transition in his work and family life, with a baby boy on the way.

"He was going to be a good dad," Smith said.

Sanchez though would never get to meet his son. The 21-year-old was killed on April 1, 2016.

"Still to this day I don't believe it, I still think he's going to come home," Smith said.

SPECIAL SECTION: Police hunting for serial killer operating in Phoenix

PHOTOS: The victims 

A couple weeks later, 55-year-old Krystal White was shot and killed near 32nd Street and Filmore.

Then there was a gap in the killings until June 3, 2016. That's when Horacio Pena was killed.

[RELATED: Police: Serial killer behind 8 shootings, 7 deaths in Phoenix]

The 32-year-old's twin sister said in an email that he loves sports and supported all the hometown teams. She said that a few years ago, he started doing 5Ks and road races as a way to take control of his physical and mental health.

She described him as "a warrior, a fighter and never lost faith in God."

Manuel Castro Garcia was one of the youngest killed. The 19-year-old was shot near his car on June 10, 2016.

"It's very, very difficult," his father Margarito Castro said.

When asked about Garcia, Castro said he was a really good son and that the two had recently started working together. His wife, he said, is taking it the hardest.

The family, though, is finding strength in each other and leaning on their faith and the badge to get some closure.

"Somehow, someway, he's going to pay, so I'm just going to leave it to God and the officers," he said.

Just days after Garcia's death, more lives shattered.

"My family, really taking it hard to lose two family members like that," said Betty Moore.

On June 12, 2016, Stefanie Ellis, her daughter Maleah, and her partner Angela Linner were ambushed while sitting in their car.

33-year-old Ellis had started work as a certified notary. Her family says she was the life of the party, smart, funny and the one person you could always go to.

Angela, 31, was basically part of the family.

Ellis' 12-year-old daughter, Maleah Ellis, was the youngest of her three girls. Her cousin said the day she was killed she'd been swimming, just enjoying her summer vacation before starting middle school in the Fall.

That same cousin described her as smart and loving.

Her great aunt says so much loss in one family is beyond comprehension.

"Their household is full of crying and screaming and crying and hurt," Moore said.

Google map of shootings | Click/tap here to text map URL

Phoenix police have released an updated sketch of the serial killer believed to be responsible for the string of shootings in Phoenix.

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.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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