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Suspect in 4 Phoenix-area slayings kills himself

  • PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A sketch of the suspect in four shooting deaths in Phoenix. It shows a white man wearing a dark hat. The man suspected in four Phoenix-area slayings that happened over three days fatally shot himself today as police swarmed the hotel where he was staying, authorities said.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. >> A man suspected in four Phoenix-area slayings that happened over three days fatally shot himself today as police swarmed the hotel where he was staying, authorities said.

The man, who was not identified, has been linked to the deaths of a forensic psychiatrist, two paralegals and a counselor, Phoenix police Sgt. Vince Lewis said.

The raid came after authorities identified the fourth victim, Marshall Levine, a 72-year-old marriage and divorce counselor and life coach. He was found shot inside an office building shortly after midnight Saturday.

On Thursday, Dr. Steven Pitt, a prominent forensic psychiatrist who assisted in high-profile murder cases, including the JonBenet Ramsey mystery in Colorado and a notorious Phoenix serial killer investigation, was found dead near Scottsdale. Witnesses reported hearing a loud argument and gunfire outside Pitt’s office.

Police said the killings Friday of paralegals Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49, were related to Pitt’s shooting, but they were still trying to determine exactly how the three victims were connected.

“We don’t know the relationships or the connections,” said Sgt. Ben Hoster.

Phoenix police say Pitt’s killer was described as a bald man wearing a dark-colored hat with a short brim. Investigators released a sketch of the suspect in the three killings.

Sharp and Anderson were shot Friday inside a law office. Police say one of the women managed to walk to an intersection to seek help despite a gunshot wound to her head. She was taken to a hospital where she died.

Officers followed a blood trail back to the office and found the other woman. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Levine was killed in an office park that houses mostly therapists and counselors.

A decade after the JonBenet Ramsey case, the 59-year-old Pitt helped Phoenix police in the Baseline Killer investigation as they sought a man who was later convicted of killing nine people.

The website of Burt/Feldman/Grenier, the law firm that employed Sharp and Anderson, says it practices divorce, child support and other aspects of family law.

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