How police connect cases to the serial shooter

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Phoenix PD) (Source: Phoenix PD)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

After another shooting was connected to the unsolved serial shooter case, we wanted to know how investigators put the puzzle together and why there is typically a delay in publicizing newly-linked shootings.

"I'm shocked. I didn't think it was over here at all," said RoseAnne Lawrence Strayhorne.

 32nd Street and Oak is the latest linked case to the serial shooter who has killed seven and shot at more.

Phoenix Police says a 21-year-old man and a 4-year-old boy were shot at on July 11, 2016, while sitting in a car but were not hurt.  

[READ MORE: Phoenix PD: 'Serial street shooter' strikes again; reward upped to $50K]

"Frankly, I thought it had stopped for a while," Lawrence Strayhorne said.

That type of thinking is understandable for a couple of reasons. First, the shootings did stop for nearly a month and second, police only shared the latest case on Wednesday, weeks after it happened.

"If there is any information that's going to help the public protect themselves, protect their family and neighbors or help us solve the case, we're going to get it out as quickly as possible," said Phoenix Police Sergeant Jonathan Howard.

[READ MORE: Teaming up to catch a serial killer in Phoenix]

Connecting cases to the serial shooter, though, takes time.

Right now, Sgt. Howard says all shooting related calls are reviewed by a task force.

"Some of them are very clearly unrelated. Some of them take a little bit more time," he said. "Again, we're looking at the totality of the evidence here. We're looking at forensics. We're looking at witness statements. We're looking at the suspects' M.O., looking at geography."

If there is a link, but nothing urgent to release, it is not until after all leads are exhausted that they reach back out to the public to share new information to try and get more tips.

"We give the investigators a chance to follow up on the leads first because again stopping this man quickly is our primary goal," Sgt.Howard said.

It's a goal shared by all those in the communities where the shootings have happened and beyond.

"I look at everybody differently now, ya know. I keep looking for white cars and black cars and I just wonder if we're safe," said Strayhorne.

[READ MORE: Guardian Angels plan patrols in west Phoenix neighborhood]

In addition to linking another shooting, Phoenix police also shared a few vehicle descriptions the suspect may be driving those include a late 90s model black BMW and a white Cadillac or Lincoln type car.

Investigators believe the shooter may work at an auto body shop or somewhere where he has easy access to a variety of vehicles.

They are also confident someone out there knows who this person is. 

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is urged to contact the Phoenix Police Department Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141 or 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 FBI has added $20,000 to the Silent Witness reward amount which has now been raised to $50,000 for any information leading to the arrest of this suspect. 

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


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