PHOENIX, Ariz. – Authorities say the Arizona killer may have murdered as many as six people. On Monday police identified the man believed responsible for the killing spree in the Phoenix area, hours after they said he killed himself in a hotel room as officers closed in.
Officials also said the man suspected of the homicides, identified as Dwight Lamon Jones, 56, may have murdered as many as six people over five days — including a man and a woman whose bodies were found Monday morning, reported Fox News.
Investigators previously tied him to the murders of four professionals, including a prominent forensic psychiatrist involved in the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation.
The murders took place in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, according to law enforcement authorities.
Police detectives spent a day and a half tracking Jones down, and traced him to the Extended Stay Hotel on North 69th Street in Scottsdale earlier Monday. Authorities heard several shots fired inside a hotel room as the SWAT team closed in for the arrest. Police said they did not fire any rounds.
Jones shot himself in his room after firing at officers who descended on the hotel, Assistant Police Chief Rich Slavin told reporters on Monday afternoon.
“Others would have been harmed if this had not come to a conclusion,” added Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone.
Slavin said that conclusion came after a marathon effort that involved multiple law enforcement agencies piecing together hundreds of tips and evidence from eyewitness, surveillance, ballistics, DNA and YouTube videos, reported NBC News.
Though Jones’ motive in the killings wasn’t clear, Slavin said, it appeared that a bitter, nearly decade-old divorce was connected to them — along with an effort “to right some wrongs.”
Jones’ wife, Connie, said in a statement to KPNX that she’s “deeply saddened by the tragedy caused by my ex-husband.” She described him as a “very emotionally disturbed person.” Moreover, she said she’s feared for her safety throughout the last nine years.
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Authorities identified the first victim, who was killed Thursday, as Steven Pitt. He was a forensic psychiatrist who worked on the Ramsey probe. A decade later, he helped Phoenix police in the “Baseline Killer” investigation as they sought a man who was later convicted of killing nine people, reported Fox News.
Pitt had testified against Jones in court, records showed. He conducted a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation of Jones during his divorce, sources told NBC News.
Witnesses reported hearing a loud argument and gunfire outside Pitt’s office.
Two other victims, fatally shot at a law office on Friday, were paralegals at a law firm that practices divorce, child support and family law, according to its website. Officials identified them as Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49.
Police believe their murders were related to Pitt’s shooting but were working to determine how the three victims were connected.
Marshall Levine, a 72-year-old hypnotherapist and life coach, was identified as the fourth victim. Police said he was killed on Friday, and found dead in an office building on Saturday morning.
Levine wasn’t connected to the divorce, Slavin said, though his office was. It belonged to a psychiatrist who evaluated Jones’ son during the divorce proceedings but was subletting it to Levine.
Authorities also believe that Jones killed an unidentified man and woman in the Phoenix suburb of Fountain Hills, Slavin said.
Investigators connected Jones to their deaths after police covertly watched him throw a .22-caliber pistol that belonged to the man in a trash can, Slavin said.
At the time, authorities were still developing evidence that Jones was a suspect in the other killings, so investigators watched him, Slavin said, adding that this surveillance didn’t begin until after the man and woman were killed.
It wasn’t yet clear what their relationship was to Jones.
“We don’t have the same kind of linkage that we have with the other scenes,” Slavin said.
Nor could Slavin say what may have prompted Jones to target people involved in his divorce now.
Court records obtained by the NBC affiliate in Phoenix show that Connie Jones — a radiologist at a mammography center now married to a former Phoenix police detective — filed for divorce in 2009 and the case was not settled until 2017 because of disputes over alimony and child custody.
At one point, she sought an order of protection from her husband, who acted as his own attorney in the divorce, records show.
Shortly before Connie Jones filed for divorce, Dwight Jones was charged in May 2009 with misdemeanor assault, threats and intimidation, and disorderly conduct. He later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, the affiliate reported.
Jones said her husband, Richard Anglin, tipped off Phoenix police to her ex-husband on Saturday night after recognizing the connections between Connie’s divorce and the three crime scenes.