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Criminal Profiler Who Worked On Ramsey, Arias, Columbine Cases Shot In Mysterious Series Of Killings
Dr. Steven Pitt was fatally shot outside his office. His death might be related to three others last week.
A forensic psychiatrist and criminal profiler who worked on the JonBenet Ramsey, Jodi Arias and Columbine High School cases was one of several people killed last week in a series of shootings police believe could be related.
The suspect for the case, who has not been identified, killed himself Monday morning as police closed in on him in a hotel.
Dr. Steven Pitt, 59, was fatally shot outside his office Thursday in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale. Witnesses heard a loud argument before gunshots.
"We are not ruling anything out, but at this point, a loud argument probably suggests they knew each other either professionally or personally," Phoenix Police Sgt. Vince Lewis told NBC News.
A day later, two paralegals were shot to death inside a law office in Scottsdale: Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49. Police said one of the paralegals was able to walk to an intersection and find help, but later died in a hospital.
Police believe that all three deaths are connected, according to the Associated Press, though it is unclear how. Police are also investigating whether a fourth homicide is connected too.
Marshall Levine, 72, was found Saturday shot dead inside his Scottsdale mental health counselors’ office. Police have not explained why they think his case could be connected to the others.
Phoenix police described Pitt's killer as a bald man with a dark-colored hat with a short brim. They released a sketch of that suspect, whom they believe may be behind the other shootings as well.
The suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after police tried to make contact with him at the Extended Stay America hotel in Phoenix around 7 a.m. Monday, police said. No one else was harmed.
Pitt, in addition to being a consultant on the Ramsey and Columbine cases, was also a member of the Phoenix Police Department's Baseline Killer task force. The task force led to the arrest in 2006 of Mark Goudeau, who was later convicted of murdering nine people, according to Arizona Central.
Pitt was known for giving the public insight into some of the most horrific crimes.
"He thought it was important that the public understand the nuances and intricacies of the story," Dan Barr, who knew Pitt for more than 20 years, told KPHO in Phoenix.
Pitt was brought onto the Ramsey case as a consultant in 1997. He consulted police during the investigation into the 1999 Columbine shooting. He also provided his expertise to the Arias trial, which ended with her conviction for killing her boyfriend Travis Alexander.
He leaves behind two children.
[Photo: Phoenix Police Department]