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New Case Tied To Phoenix Shooter

A serial killer who had concentrated his attacks on Phoenix neighborhoods may have moved east into the suburbs and shot a man in Mesa, police said Tuesday.

Sgt. Andy Hill said a shooting about 15 miles southeast of central Phoenix was "possibly related" to other attacks linked to the "Serial Shooter," a serial predator who police believe has randomly killed five people and wounded 16 others since May 2005.

The Mesa man, whom police would not identify, was shot early in the morning Saturday while riding his bicycle. He was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Hill said the shooting is not among the four that police have linked to the Serial Shooter with forensic evidence. However, police have nevertheless added it to the investigation because the man was alone, because the attack happened randomly and at a similar time as other Serial Shooter cases.

The gunman is thought to range across metropolitan Phoenix, with clusters of attacks in the downtown area and west of the city center in suburban cities including Avondale and Tolleson.

Investigators also have linked the Serial Shooter to the May 2 fatal shooting of Claudia Gutierrez-Cruz, 20, east of Phoenix in Scottsdale.

"The fact that we have a Scottsdale case, a Mesa case is an indication that the suspect or suspects could hit valley-wide," Hill said.

"I realized I got hit with something. My knees buckled and I fell to the asphalt…I didn't hear a car. I didn't hear anything," Craig, one of the shooting victims, told CBS News correspondent Hattie Kauffman.

Tim Tordai, another victim, told Kauffman, "All of a sudden I went down. I got this sharp burning sensation in my shoulder and I thought at first it was a heart attack."

Another assailant, dubbed the "Baseline Killer," also remains at large and has been linked to six killings plus a series of sexual assaults and robberies in Phoenix over the past 11 months, according to police.

Hill said one victim of the Baseline Killer was abducted a car wash. "He pushed her into her own car, and drove away with her. And we ended up finding her a little bit later, deceased, about 100 or 200 yards (away)," Hill told CBS News. She was shot to death, he added.

Police say they have no suspects in either serial shootings case. They've released a composite sketch of the Baseline Killer, but concede that he probably wears disguises.


Phoenix police have 120 detectives looking for the two serial killers, Kauffman reports.

The possibility of serial killers on the loose has Phoenix residents alarmed.

"I'm very cautious with my surroundings and I kind of don't go out after dark anymore," Phoenix resident Sonia McKnight told Kauffman.

Ralph Morales, a father, also says he's scared. "The serial rapist is really what makes me the most nervous, because I am a single father. I have two daughters so that's very nerve-wracking for me," Morales told Kauffman.

Some residents are arming themselves, Kauffman reports. Don Langworthy, the manager of an Arizona gun store told CBS News gun sales have gone up about 50 percent in the last two to three weeks.

To help with the investigation, Mayor Phil Gordon said Tuesday that police will add 52 more officers to the task force investigating the crimes. There are now 186 officers working the case, almost twice as many officers as those that patrol Flagstaff, a city of more than 60,000 residents.

"The city council will do anything it can do to make sure the police have the resources to catch these monsters," Gordon said.

Hill said the new officers were working special assignments and already have been transferred to the task force.

Also Tuesday, the first of a series of billboards aimed at increasing public awareness was unveiled. The first billboard in central Phoenix features a composite sketch of the Baseline Killer, along with the phone number for the Silent Witness tip line. The Silent Witness program has $100,000 in reward money available for the two serial murder cases.

A billboard company is donating the space.

Police Chief Jack Harris said the signs will serve as a constant reminder to citizens of the dangers posed by the two killers.

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