Police: 3 victims in serial killer case shot while listening to music in car

Suspect in the serial shootings taking place in the Phoenix area.

CBS AFFILIATE KPHO

PHOENIX -- Two women and a 12-year-old girl who died in the deadliest attack in Phoenix's first serial killer case in a decade were sitting in a car talking and listening to music when they were shot, according to police reports released Thursday.

Angela Rochelle Liner, Stefanie R. Ellis and Ellis' daughter Maleah were shot on June 12 while the car was parked in a driveway, authorities said.

The gunman fired as many as eight shots from a handgun while standing on the passenger side of the car then fled in another vehicle, the report states.

Police say the triple killing doesn't appear to have been the result of a robbery because the attacker didn't take purses or $2,900 in the possession of one of the adult victims.

Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard said the shooting prompted investigators to look at whether it was tied to four earlier attacks.

In all, seven people have been killed and two others wounded in nine attacks in two predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods over a four-month period.

The latest attack occurred in a central Phoenix neighborhood on July 11 when someone fired on a vehicle occupied by a 21-year-old man and a 4-year-old boy. Neither was injured, said police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard, who declined to reveal other details of the shooting.

In all, seven people have been fatally shot and two others wounded in attacks that began March 17. Most of the attacks occurred in the blue-collar Maryvale neighborhood, though two shootings -- including the latest -- occurred in central Phoenix.

Police say the victims were attacked as they stood outside their homes or sat in vehicles after dark. They were fired upon by someone who was sitting in a car or had just stepped out of a vehicle.

"It's occurring within a residential area in front of a home," Howard said to CBS affiliate KPHO earlier this month. "A vehicle, related in the sense that people are either near or in a vehicle, as well as in or next to the street."

No motive has been established.

The suspect is believed to have used several vehicles, including as a late-1990s brown Nissan, a late-1990s black BMW and a white Cadillac or Lincoln.

Investigators have declined to reveal the evidence that led them to conclude the attacks are related and committed by the same killer. No motive has been established.

Ellis, 33, was hospitalized for her injuries and later died. Liner, 31, and Ellis' daughter Maleah died at the scene.

A witness told police that it wasn't unusual for them to sit in a parked car listening to music.

Authorities also released a police report on a shooting that targeted an unoccupied pickup truck just a half-hour before the triple killing and is believed to have been the work of the serial killer.

Investigators found bullet casings and recovered a bullet from a seat and bullet fragments from the engine compartment.