A man suspected of killing six people, including a prominent forensic psychiatrist, in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, Ariz., fatally shot himself as police closed in Monday, ending a days-long manhunt that has rattled many in the legal and mental-health communities.
Police on Monday afternoon identified Dwight Lamon Jones, a 56-year-old man who had been arrested for domestic violence in 2009 and had been living in hotels in the nine years since, as the gunman who shot the forensic psychiatrist, a psychologist and two paralegals. The victims were loosely connected to his divorce proceedings, Scottsdale Assistant Chief of Police Richard Slavin said.
Police also suspect Jones had killed a man and woman in a home in Fountain Hills, Ariz., a town outside of Phoenix, though they have not said why they think Jones killed them.
Slavin said ballistic evidence connected the killings of psychiatrist Steven Pitt, paralegals Veleria Sharp and Laura Anderson, and psychologist Marshall Levine. On Sunday morning, police had identified Jones as the suspect and had taken a DNA sample from family members that they believed linked him to the crimes. Shortly after police began surveillance Sunday afternoon, they witnessed Jones dispose of a pistol, which police said was not used in the crimes, but belonged to the male victim from Fountain Hills.
Officers with the Scottsdale and Phoenix police departments tracked down the suspect at an Extended Stay hotel in Scottsdale on Monday morning. Sgt. Vince Lewis, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department, told reporters that Jones fired shots from inside his room as tactical team members were evacuating the hotel. They later found Jones with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Lewis said, adding that the officers did not fire their weapons.
The victims in the days-long killing spree worked in related fields, a fact that had raised fears that the suspect might be indiscriminately attacking people who worked in the criminal justice or court system in the Phoenix area.
Pitt, a 59-year-old forensic psychiatrist who had consulted in high-profile murder cases, including the 1996 killing of child beauty-pageant star JonBenét Ramsey, was shot Thursday afternoon outside his office on the outskirts of Scottsdale.
As part of Jones’s divorce proceedings, Slavin said, Jones had been required to see Pitt.
Sharp, 48, and Anderson, 49, the two paralegals, were shot at a law firm in downtown Scottsdale at about 2 p.m. Friday, less than 24 hours after Pitt was killed. Police said one of the women, who had been shot in the head, was able to get out of the building and flag a bus driver for help before she died. Police followed her blood trail and found the other victim.
The two women were paralegals for the family law firm Burt, Feldman, Grenier. Jones’s ex-wife, Connie Jones, had retained Elizabeth Feldman as her divorce lawyer, Slavin said.
Just after midnight Saturday, an acquaintance found Levine, 72, a psychologist and counselor, dead of a gunshot wound in his office, about halfway between the sites of the previous shootings, police said.
Slavin said Jones’s son, as part of the divorce proceedings, was required to see a psychiatrist who occupied the office space that Levine was in.
“He was a very emotionally disturbed person, as the court records will confirm,” Connie Jones said in a statement published by the Arizona Republic. “Personally, I have feared for my safety for the past nine years. I cannot express the emotions I feel for the innocent families touched by this.”