SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Before he killed himself as police closed in, Dwight Lamon Jones, 56, had fatally shot six people, with four of them having a connection to his acrimonious divorce, authorities in Arizona said Monday.
Investigators are trying to figure out if his last two victims, a man and a woman found dead inside a house on Monday, were linked to the divorce, Scottsdale Police Commander Richard Slavin said Monday at a news conference.
Jones’ ex-wife and child are safe, and she issued a statement on Monday. “I have feared for my safety for the past nine years,” Connie Jones said.
Dwight Lamon Jones died Monday morning of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound as police surrounded him in an extended stay hotel in Scottsdale where they had tracked him, Slavin said.
As police neared his room, Jones fired a number of shots at officers, Slavin said. No officers were hurt or fired their own weapons, Phoenix Police Sgt. Vince Lewis said.
Police said the suspect was linked to the killings of a noted forensic psychiatrist, two paralegals and another man late last week. All the victims were shot within a 10-mile radius in Scottsdale and Phoenix. Tragically, some of their connections to the divorce were tenuous.
DNA and shell casings
Investigators realized the first four killings had been committed by the same person because shell casings found on the scene were similar, Slavin said.
DNA on one of those casings was matched to DNA from one of Jones’ relatives in northern Arizona, he said. When that match was made, police felt confident in moving to arrest Jones, who had been followed for a day or two, Slavin said.
Police may have become interested in Jones when they were contacted by his ex-wife’s current husband.
In her statement, Connie Jones said: “My husband, Richard Anglin (a retired Phoenix police detective), recognized the connection to my divorce and the three crime scenes and he notified the Phoenix Police violent crime unit on Saturday night.”
Jones goes on to say, “As a medical professional and a citizen I am deeply saddened by the tragedy caused by my ex-husband.”
Sgt. Ben Hoster of Scottsdale Police said that the fourth victim, though found Saturday morning, died sometime Friday afternoon. Four victims were killed within about 24 hours between Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and Friday afternoon, Hoster said.
It’s not known when the fifth and sixth victims were killed.
Six homicide victims
One of the shooting victims was Steven Pitt, a forensic psychiatrist who was involved in several high-profile cases. He was found shot dead in Phoenix on May 31 after witnesses heard a loud argument and gunshots, officials said.
Jones was examined by Pitt under court order during the divorce proceedings, Slavin said. Jones had been arrested on domestic violence charges in 2009 or 2010, he said. It’s not immediately clear when the couple separated and when they divorced.
Pitt provided expertise in the investigation into the death of child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey in 1996, he served as an adviser to prosecutors on the Columbine High School shooting, and he was a consulting expert in Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault case, according to his website.
Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49, were shot and killed at a Scottsdale law firm Friday afternoon, according to Scottsdale Police.
Both worked as paralegals at the law office of Burt, Feldman, Grenier, a family law firm. Jones’ ex-wife had been represented by Elizabeth Feldman, a law firm partner, during the divorce, Slavin said. Investigators said they think she was the real target.
Anderson had worked there for more than 10 years, the firm said in a statement to CNN affiliate KNXV.
“Her intellect, passion and friendship has meant more to us than we can even begin to convey. She was more than a co-worker, she was a friend, a mother, grandmother, daughter and wife and gave all of herself to her family, her friends and her work,” Burt, Feldman, Grenier said.
Sharp was a dedicated mother, wife and daughter, the law firm said.
“Veleria was a treasured member of our work family. She brought joy, calmness, warmth and compassion to all that she did,” the firm added.
Marshall Levine, 72, was also found dead Saturday in his office at a Scottsdale mental health counseling facility. He had been shot and was found in his office by an acquaintance.
Levine had nothing to do with the divorce, but was renting space in the offices where a therapist who examined Jones’ child once rented space, Slavin said.
The fifth and sixth victims have not been identified. They were found Monday morning at a house in Fountain Hills.
Slavin said investigators had suspected Jones and knew he’d been to the home, but at that time didn’t have enough evidence to charge him.
Maricopa County authorities went to the house to knock on the door, Slavin said. When the couple didn’t answer, officers put a ladder up to the window and noticed a man shot in the head upstairs, Slavin said. Officers entered the home and found the woman also fatally shot.
Jones was connected to those killings by a package he was seen dropping in a trash can, Slavin said. The package contained a .22-caliber pistol that was owned by the man who lived in Fountain Hills, he said. The .22-caliber pistol was not used in the killings, Slavin said.