SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — As police closed in, a man suspected of shooting six people to death in the Phoenix area turned a gun on himself Monday, and authorities said some of his victims were connected to his divorce case, including a prominent psychiatrist who testified against him years ago.
The slayings also included two paralegals who worked for the law office that represented the suspect’s wife, a marriage-and-divorce counselor who was apparently killed in a case of mistaken identity and another man and woman who have not been identified.
Authorities in Arizona said they tracked 56-year-old Dwight Lamon Jones to an extended-stay hotel in suburban Scottsdale. Officers evacuated nearby rooms before hearing gunfire and finding his body.
Investigators said Jones’ death ended a string of killings that began Thursday with the fatal shooting of Dr. Steven Pitt, who, according to court records, had evaluated Jones and testified in 2010 that he had anxiety and mood disorders and symptoms of a paranoid personality.
Pitt said Jones did not conform to social norms and acted impulsively and aggressively. He lacked remorse and close friends and required excessive admiration, the records said.
The testimony was cited in the couple’s November 2010 divorce, which granted Jones’ wife sole custody of their now 21-year-old son.
The 59-year-old psychiatrist was well known in his field and assisted in high-profile murder cases, including the JonBenet Ramsey mystery in Colorado and a notorious Phoenix serial killer investigation.
Paralegals Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49, worked at the law office that represented Jones’ wife. Police believe Jones may have been targeting the attorney, but she was not present Friday when Jones went to the office in downtown Scottsdale.
Sharp was shot in the head but ran out of the office to get help before collapsing on the street, police said. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Counselor Marshall Levine, 72, appears to have been mistaken for someone else who once occupied the same office. At one time, the space was used by a counselor who saw Jones’ son as part of the divorce. Levine, who took over the space, was not involved in the divorce case.
The suspect’s ex-wife, Connie Jones, said in a statement that her ex-husband was a “very emotionally disturbed person.”
“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 senseless violence,” Connie Jones said.
Jones said her current husband, a retired police detective, made the connection between her divorce and the crime scenes and notified police of his suspicion Saturday night.
“We started to see that Mr. Jones was visiting them in an effort to right some wrong based on what we could see,” said Rich Slavin, assistant police chief in Scottsdale.
Analysis of shell casings found at Pitts’ office, the law firm and Levin’s office confirmed that the victims were killed with the same gun, police said.
Jones’ DNA was found on one of spent casings. And traffic cameras showed a vehicle fitting the description of Jones’ gold Mercedes near the law firm 30 minutes before the double killing on Friday, police said.
The suspect has also been linked to two additional killings in Fountain Hills, an affluent suburb in the northeastern corner of metro Phoenix. The man and woman found dead inside the home have not been named publicly.
The suspect, who was seen driving around Fountain Hills, was later seen dumping a .22-caliber gun stolen from the Fountain Hills home.