Arizona Mass Murderer Sought Revenge for Divorce

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (CN) — The man suspected of shooting six people to death in and around Scottsdale, Arizona, before killing himself Monday targeted members of the legal and mental-health communities with connections to his divorce case.

Police on Monday afternoon identified Dwight Lamon Jones, 56, as the shooter.

Officers tracked Jones to an Extended Stay America hotel in Scottsdale, where a tactical team surrounded his room Monday morning.

Jones fired seven or eight rounds at the team from inside his hotel room, before turning the gun on himself. Officers found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Jones is suspected of murdering six people over four days. Police say they have connected the shootings with ballistic evidence, DNA or sightings of Jones near the killings.

Scottsdale Assistant Chief of Police Richard Slavin said Monday that the victims were loosely connected to Jones’ divorce proceedings.

According to court documents, Jones physically and verbally assaulted his wife, Connie Jones, after she asked him to stop yelling at their son in May 2009.

Connie, a radiologist, called 911 and warned police that Jones had access to a gun.

When police arrived at their home, Jones “refused to leave the residence and a standoff ensued resulting in a Swat team being summoned to the home,” according to a Maricopa County Court minute order of July 2009.

Eventually Jones surrendered to police and later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

His wife filed for divorce that same year.

The couple’s divorce proceedings span nine years and contain 382 filings.

In one, Connie described taking the couple’s son to visit Jones and finding a map showing “her places of work depicting bodies lying about, and various books on killing and mind control,” according to the Minute Order.

Another filing shows Jones was ordered to submit to a risk assessment evaluation with Dr. Steven Pitt.

Pitt, a forensic psychiatrist who assisted in high-profile cases, was the first person Jones killed in the rash of shootings. He was found shot to death outside his office in Phoenix on May 31.

Pitt served as an expert in the investigation of the death of child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey and as an adviser for prosecutors in the Columbine High School shooting. He also aided police during the investigation into the Phoenix Baseline Killer.

Laura Anderson and Veleria Sharp, both paralegals, were murdered on June 1 at the family law firm of Burt, Feldman, Grenier.

Elizabeth Feldman, a partner at the firm, was Connie Jones’ divorce attorney.

Assistant Police Chief Slavin said he believed Jones visited the office with the intent to kill Feldman.

Sharp, who suffered a gunshot wound to her head, was able to walk to an intersection to ask for help. She was taken to a hospital, where she died.

Anderson, 49, was found dead at the scene. She had worked at the law firm for more than 10 years.

“Her intellect, passion and friendship has meant more to us than we can even begin to convey,” the firm said in a statement. “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.”

The firm also praised Sharp, 48, for her love of family and faith.

“Veleria was a treasured member of our work family. She brought joy, calmness, warmth and compassion to all that she did,” the firm said.

On June 2, counselor Marshall Levine was found by his girlfriend, shot to death in his Scottsdale office.

Levine, 72, worked as a marriage and divorce counselor, life coach and hypnotherapist. Slavin said that as part of the divorce proceedings, the Jones’s son was required to see a psychiatrist who occupied the space Levine was in.

“Personally, I have feared for my safety for the past nine years,” Connie Jones said in a statement. “I cannot express the emotions I feel for the innocent families touched by this.”

A tip from Connie Jones and her husband, a retired police detective, directed law enforcement to Jones.

Jones also is suspected of killing Byron Thomas, 72, and Mary Simmons, 70, on June 3 at a home in Fountain Hills, northeast of Scottsdale.

It’s unclear how Jones is connected to the couple, but he was caught on police surveillance in Fountain Hills and later disposing of a pistol that belonged to Thomas.

“At this time, we don’t have the same kind of linkage that we have with the other scenes,” Slavin said. “That’s one of the things we’re investigating.”

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