Councilmen: Protests draining PD resources away from serial killer case

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Phoenix police at the scene of one of the serial shootings. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Phoenix police at the scene of one of the serial shootings. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Phoenix City Council members Sal DiCiccio (left_) and Michael Nowakowski. (Source: City of Phoenix) Phoenix City Council members Sal DiCiccio (left_) and Michael Nowakowski. (Source: City of Phoenix)
Most recent composite sketch of the serial shooter suspect. (Source: Phoenix Police Department) Most recent composite sketch of the serial shooter suspect. (Source: Phoenix Police Department)
Earlier sketch police released of the shooting suspect. (Source: Phoenix Police Department) Earlier sketch police released of the shooting suspect. (Source: Phoenix Police Department)
These are five of the six victims in the string of four shootings in Maryvale. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) These are five of the six victims in the string of four shootings in Maryvale. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

It was another Friday night demonstration, and another big overtime bill for the City of Phoenix. There are concerns too many of our resources are being taken up by these protests.

That crowd gathered at 24th street & Camelback Friday evening. Several hours later, it all ended peacefully, with no injuries and no arrests.

But across town, Phoenix Police needed help from Glendale Police’s SWAT team.

“There was a call that there was a man barricaded in the house, somebody was shot. And our SWAT was out at 24th street and Camelback,” said Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski. 

Phoenix police were busy preparing for a much larger scene, like the one we saw a week earlier, where more than a thousand protesters forced a shutdown of I-10.

“I believe it’s your first amendment right, and everybody has the right to protest, but a the same time these protests are getting violent and we have to have swat teams now because we don’t know if some person’s going to shoot another person,” said Nowakowski. "And ever since Dallas, you have to over plan so sometimes it better to have more than less."

District 6 Councilman Sal DiCiccio and District 7 Councilman Michael Nowakowski raised the concern in a joint statement Saturday.

Nowakowski says he’s worried the marches are taking time and energy away from other investigations, like the ‘serial shooter’ recently terrorizing parts of the Valley.

“It’s a waste of resources, from my point of view, we have a serial killer out there. We have seven individuals that were killed and they happen to be five Hispanics and two African-Americans. We need to use our resources wisely and we need to make sure our police officers are out there trying to find that individual that’s killing people.”

Protest organizer Jarrett Maupin has repeatedly said he knows the marches adds stress to the City and the Police Department. He hopes it spurs them to meet their demands. 

 “Stop wasting money  paying the police to be here, 100 thousand dollars on Friday, another 100 thousand dollars  tonight, that’s more cameras, that’s more cops, that’s more community building,” Maupin said at the Friday rally.   

"It is our hope that a more constructive way of dealing with the concerns of these individuals is found that would take into consideration the amount of resources that are being devoted to the public protests and the fact that there are other important issues facing our city," DiCiccio and Nowakowski said.

Despite recent recruiting efforts, the Phoenix Police department is also dealing with a shortage of about 700 officers.

[RELATED: 7/15/16: Protests against police violence end peacefully in Phoenix and Tempe]

[RELATED: 7/8/16: Police deploy pepper spray on some protesters in Downtown Phoenix, 3 men arrested]

The six killings in Maryvale - and one in another working class neighborhood about 10 miles away - come after six people were killed and 19 wounded in 2005-2006 series of seemingly random shootings that terrorized Phoenix.

All of the latest victims were Hispanic or black, and one was a 12-year-old girl. The men and women were shot outside homes as they stood or sat in cars by a suspect or suspects firing a handgun from inside a car described as both light and dark or while on foot near the victims and then fleeing in the car, police said.

SPECIAL SECTION: Police hunting for serial killer operating in Phoenix

PHOTOS: The victims 

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.

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.

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

A reward of up to $30,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

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