Nation: Two men arrested in investigation of Phoenix shootings
Mesa, Ariz. — Authorities arrested two men Friday in connection with a series of fatal shootings that have terrorized Phoenix area residents for more than a year, a police spokesman said.
The men were apprehended at a gated apartment complex and were being held at Phoenix police headquarters, police Sgt. Andy Hill said.
The men were considered suspects in the “Serial Shooter” case — one of two serial killers whom authorities say have been operating in the Phoenix area.
Authorities have said that the so-called “Serial Shooter” is believed to be responsible for killing six people and wounding 17 others, mostly pedestrians and bicyclists, since May 2005.
The most recent was Sunday in Mesa when a 22-year-old woman was fatally shot as she was walking from her parents’ home to her boyfriend’s house, authorities said.
Fear and paranoia have gripped Phoenix neighborhoods in recent months as police linked more and more seemingly random shootings to one assailant. Investigators believe the Serial Shooter targeted people in both the western and eastern edges of Phoenix’s sprawling suburbs.
Police had said they had no idea who the Serial Shooter was, what he looked like and whether he was working alone.
“I hope they got him,” said Caroll Roberts, whose 19-year-old son was shot in the torso last month and survived after four hours of surgery. “I want to shoot him in the stomach to see how he’d like it, like he did my son.”
Officials from several police agencies searched the apartment complex Friday morning as part of the investigation. Some used flashlights to peer through the windows of a car, which was later hauled away by a tow truck.
Television footage showed police officers carrying what appeared to be several rifles or shotguns away from the apartment.
Complex resident Loraine Salyers said she lives near where police came in Friday.
“I came out and there were like a hundred cops,” Salyers said. I was so scared. My heart’s pounding.”
Phoenix police have had about 200 officers working to try to solve the Serial Shooter cases and to find a second serial killer dubbed the “Baseline Killer.”
The “Baseline Killer” is believed responsible for killing seven women and one man since last September, and sexually assaulting 11 women and girls in the past year.
Authorities have said that the so-called “Serial Shooter” is believed to be responsible for three dozen shootings of people, and dogs and horses. The shootings have generally happened late at night, with no witnesses.
Robin Blasnek, 22, was gunned down at about 11:15 p.m. Sunday. Neighbors heard a shot and ran to help the young woman, but she soon lost consciousness and died at a hospital.
The shooting was linked to earlier cases because of similarities and forensic evidence, authorities said.
Blasnek’s father told the East Valley Tribune that his daughter grew up as a special needs child, and lived part time with her parents in Mesa and at a group home in Tempe.
“She was just a great kid. Very, very naive, and pure as far as not understanding the dangers of the world,” Steve Blasnek said. “I guess my only regret is that I didn’t give her a big hug.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
In February, Kasey O’Halloran learned the preschool teacher at Little Lambs Daycare in Phippsburg would be leaving in April. She immediately started looking for a replacement but was unable to fill the position before the…