W. Valley patrols continue despite serial shooter 'person of interest' in custody

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Could there be a break in the case of the serial shooter who terrorized west Phoenix last summer?

Sources within the Phoenix Police Department say a man arrested within the last three days for a different shooting back in 2015 is now a 'person of interest’ in this case, too.

[READ MORE: 'Person of interest' in custody in Phoenix 'Serial Street Shooter' case]

While it's a good start, those who took it upon themselves to help police patrol the neighborhoods say this does not mean the search is over.

Last summer, Mike Upchurch made a promise to the people of the Valley. "We will not stop until the day he is caught," he said.

With his group of 'Guardian Angels,' Upchurch patrolled the streets of neighborhoods hit by the serial shooter, keeping an eye out for the suspect responsible for shooting nine people, killing seven of them, between March and July of 2016.

"It could be anywhere between four and 30 members on the ground patrolling in a formation, and talking to people."

[Special section: Phoenix 'Serial Street Shooter' case]

Nearly one year later, it appears police have a 'person of interest' in this case. But that’s not enough to convince Upchurch his work is done.

 "I'm hoping he is the guy or one of the guys,” said Upchurch. “Until they have concrete evidence, we're going to continue to patrol.

He says if anything good came out of this, it's the response he has seen from neighbors who rather than hiding from the threat, chose to face it head on.

“Community involvement, everybody working together stepping up to the plate saying, 'Hey I want to help my community, I want to watch out for others,’" said Upchurch.  

Phoenix police are not ready to comment on this 'person of interest.'

Crime Stoppers is still offering its 75 thousand dollar reward for information that leads to a conviction.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

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Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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