Suspect In Phoenix Slayings Kills Himself As Police Close In

Published by The Bee News

June 4, 2018

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — As police closed in, a man suspected of gunning down four people over the past few days shot himself to death Monday, ending a killing spree that included the deaths of a prominent psychiatrist, two paralegals and a marriage-and-divorce counselor.

Police in Arizona say they spent a day and a half tracking the suspect, eventually finding him at an extended-stay hotel in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale. Officers evacuated nearby rooms before hearing gunfire and finding his body.

Authorities offered nothing public about the man’s possible motives, but they planned to discuss the case in more detail at a news conference scheduled for later Monday. The suspect has not been publicly identified, pending notification of relatives, police said.

The raid came after authorities identified the fourth victim, Marshall Levine, a 72-year-old counselor and life coach. He was found shot inside an office building shortly after midnight Saturday.

On Thursday, Dr. Steven Pitt, a prominent forensic psychiatrist who assisted in high-profile murder cases, including the JonBenet Ramsey mystery in Colorado and a notorious Phoenix serial killer investigation, was found dead near Scottsdale. Witnesses reported hearing a loud argument and gunfire outside Pitt’s office.

Police said the killings Friday of paralegals Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49, were related to Pitt’s shooting, but they were still trying to determine exactly how the three victims were connected.

“We don’t know the relationships or the connections,” Sgt. Ben Hoster said.

Pitt’s killer was described as a bald man wearing a dark-colored hat with a short brim, police said. Investigators released a sketch of the suspect in the three killings.

Sharp and Anderson were shot Friday inside a law office. One of the women managed to walk to an intersection to seek help despite a gunshot wound to her head. She was taken to a hospital where she died, police said.

Officers followed a blood trail back to the office and found the other woman. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Levine was killed in an office park that houses mostly therapists and counselors.

A decade after the JonBenet Ramsey case, the 59-year-old Pitt helped Phoenix police in the Baseline Killer investigation as they sought a man who was later convicted of killing nine people.

The website of Burt/Feldman/Grenier, the law firm that employed Sharp and Anderson, says it practices divorce, child support and other aspects of family law.

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

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