The town of Maryvale, AZ will never be the same after a string of shootings has taken the lives of seven different victims. Months after the last known shooting, police were reluctant to call them the work of a serial killer, but a nationally-renowned forensic psychiatrist has delivered his opinion.
Steven Pitt is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Pitt has come forth to confirm he believes that the shootings do fit the definition of serial killings. “I think what we can say relatively confidently is that by definition we have a person who is committing serial offenses, or who is engaged in serial killing,” he said. Pitt has extensive experience in forensic psychology and has consulted with the Phoenix Police Department Homicide and Missing Persons Units as well as a multitude of national criminal cases, including the murder of Jon Benet Ramsey.
Pitt explained in an interview that the first step in understanding criminology is to determine the relationship and similarities between the victims. Right now the two similarities between the victims are that they were all shot at nighttime on the weekend and all of the shootings took place in front of residential homes. Three victims were killed together while the other victims were alone when they were killed.
The investigation has teetered out over the weeks with little new evidence coming to the surface. Pitt says it’s difficult to know where the killer is saying he either moved on or is just lying low because police are on the lookout. He also advised that just because he believes the shootings were done by a serial killer doesn’t mean that there is just one shooter.
The FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals have joined with local police in continuing to investigate the killings.