Dwight Lamon Jones is the man suspected of carrying out a killing spree in Scottsdale, Arizona, targeting a prominent forensic psychiatrist, two paralegals and a psychologist. Jones, 56, who was connected to all of the victims through his divorce with his wife, was found dead in a hotel Monday as a police SWAT team closed in, authorities said. Police said he also killed a couple at their home in Fountain Hills, but their connection to his divorce case was not immediately known.
One of the victims was Doctor Steven Pitt, 59, a well-known forensic psychiatrist who had worked with authorities on numerous cases including the death of JonBenet Ramsey and the Columbine High School shooting. The others have been named as paralegals Veleria Sharp, 48, Laura Anderson, 49 and Marshall Levine, 72. The victims in the Fountain Hills double homicide have not been identified publicly. Connie Jones, Dwight’s ex-wife, and his son were not harmed during the killing spree.
In a statement, Connie Jones expressed sadness about the deaths, and said her current husband, retired Phoenix Police Department Deteective Richard Anglin, recognized the connection to her divorce and the three crime scenes Saturday night, June 1. Anglin contacted investigators and Connie Jones also contacted the Scottsdale Police on Sunday.
Police had not named Jones publicly as a suspect prior to raiding a hotel room where he had been staying. Pitt was shot dead on May 31 about 5:30 p.m. local time outside of his office, Steven Pitt & Associates, on North 71st Street in Scottsdale. Phoenix Police Sergeant Vince Lewis told the media, “According to witnesses, there was a loud verbal argument heard outside of the offices just before shots were fired. Phoenix Fire responded and pronounced Dr. Pitt deceased on the scene.”
Veleria Sharp and Laura Anderson were shot dead at the Law Offices of Burt, Feldman and Grenier, in Old Town Scottsdale on June 1. On June 2, Marshall Levine, 72, was found dead outside of business. The final two victims were identified as Mary Simmons, 70, and Byron Thomas, 72. It is not known when they were killed. According to police, forensic evidence has linked all six of the murders. The same gun was used in all of the shooting.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jones Had Been Going Through a Lengthy Divorce & His Connections to the 6 Victims Stemmed From That Case
Dwight Lamont Jones had recently gone through a lengthy divorce from his ex-wife, Connie Jones, and his connections to the six victims stem from that case, police said at a press conference Monday afternoon.
Online records show Jones’ wife filed for divorce in 2009 and it was finalized in 2011. But the case continued on until 2017 because of battles over alimony and custody of the couple’s children. Jones’ wife sought an order of protection against him, and psychological and psychiatric evaluations were requested for Jones, according to court records.
Sources told KPNX that the law office was targeted because Jones’ wife’s attorney, Elizabeth Feldman, worked there. She is a partner at the firm, Burt, Feldman and Grenier. She is listed in online records as Connie Jones’ attorney. Two paralegals were killed, but Feldman was not at the office at the time.
According to KPNX, Dr. Steven Pitt, the first victim, conducted a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation on Jones eight years ago during the divorce case. And sources told the news station Jones had previously seen therapist at the offices where Marshall Levine, the fourth victim, worked. Levine was not Jones’ target, police said. He was looking for a therapist who had previously worked at the office Levine occupied at the time of his death.
Dwight Jones represented himself during his divorce case, which was before Judge Kevin Wein, records show.
It is not clear how the victims in the Fountain Hills double homicide, Mary Simmons and Byron Thomas, are connected to Jones, but police said all six victims were related to the divorce and child custody case.
Thomas, originally from New Jersey, served in the Air Force from 1966 to 1971 and had a teaching degree, his Facebook page shows. Neighbors told the Arizona Republic they were a “delightful couple” who would always wave hello. Simmons played tennis three days a week, a neighbor said. According to the Republic, Jones was at one point a tennis coach, but it is not clear if there is any connection there.
Connie Jones issued a statement about the murders, saying, “As a medical professional and a citizen I am deeply saddened by the tragedy caused by my ex-husband. He was a very emotionally disturbed person as the court records will confirm. Personally, I have feared for my safety for the past nine years. I cannot express the emotions I feel for the innocent families touched by this senseless violence.”
Connie Jones and her husband, a retired police detective, provided tips that helped lead to her ex-husband.
“Any reward money collected will be donated to the families of the victims and to Chrysalis, the non-profit agency that helps victims of domestic abuse and violence,” Connie Jones said in her statement. “We ask for privacy during this difficult time.”
2. He Posted Several Videos to YouTube in the Weeks Before His Killing Spree, Accusing His Wife of Crimes & of Taking His Son Away From Him
In May, Jones posted several videos on Facebook about his wife and his son. The videos and account have since been deleted by YouTube, and the contents of the videos are unknown, but a Facebook page set up by Jones to share the videos is still up. One of the videos was titled, “exposing lowlifes.” In the description, Jones wrote, “open letter to my son. i have not seen since 2011 because his mom took him away from me. i caught her molesting him, told her i was leaving her. she got a lawyer before me, set me up for death and the rest is history!”
There is no evidence that Jones’ son was molested by his ex-wife. Jones also had a Twitter account where he promoted the 18 videos, which included more than 10 hours of fottage, tweeting links to several news organizations. On May 25, he tweeted, ‘hey @cbs5investigate just like dr.nassar and dr.tyndall,connie p jones of scottsdale az molested my son!”
Another video showed a white mask that Jones’ apparently wore to hide his face in the videos and is titled, “dr.connie p jones molested my son and got away with it!” In another video, Jones apparently posted an interview conducted as part of the court proceedings with his ex-wife, titled, “interview with a lying female doctor/child molester.”
Connie Jones, Dwight’s ex-wife, is a doctor in the Phoenix area. She is a diagnostic radiologist and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in 1991 and has been practicing for more than 25 years.
3. Jones Was Arrested for Assaulting His Wife Shortly Before Their Divorce
Court records show that Dwight Jones was convicted of domestic violence in case involving his wife that occurred just before she filed for divorce from him, KPNX-TV reports.
Jones was arrested in Scottsdale in May 2009 and charged in Scottsdale Municipal Court with misdemeanor assault, threats and inimidation and disorderly conduct. He eventually pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
Public records show Jones previously lived in Tucson, Arizona from 2004 to 2018. He also lived in Durham, North Carolina, from 1987 to 2003, and has also lived in several other places, including: Irving, Texas; Joplin, Missouri; Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Fresno, California.
Records show Jones was arrested in June 1984 in Cumberland, North Carolina on misdemeanor traffic charges. Details of that case were not immediately clear, but his address at the time was listed as Fort Bragg. The U.S. Army has not confirmed whether Jones was an active duty soldier stationed there at the time of the arrest.
4. Tactical Teams Raided Jones’ Hotel in Scottsdale Monday Morning & He Opened Fire Before on Them Before Fatally Shooting Himself
Police tactical teams raided Dwight Jones’ hotel in Scottsdale early Monday morning, ABC News reports. Phoenix Police Sergeant Vince Lewis told reporters at a press conference that they had tracked Jones to the hotel room. They evacuated people staying in nearby rooms. “During that operation shots were fired inside the suspects room. Nobody was injured outside the room,” Lewis said. Multiple shots were fired. The tactical team then entered the room and found the suspect dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Lewis said no officers fired shots during the raid. There was no one else in the room. “The scene is safe. We are going to be here at this location investigating,” for awhile, Lewis told reporters. Lewis said they were able to confirm all four homicides were linked through evidence recovered at the three scenes. “This is a joint investigation between Scottsdale police and Phoenix police,” Lewis said, along with assistance from state and federal partners.
Jones had been at the Extended Stay America near Shea Boulevard and Scottsdale Road. According to KPNX-TV, the hotel was his last known address. Sources told KNXV-TV it appeared Jones had been staying at the hotel for some time.
Police had said Sunday night they planned to make major developments in the case Monday. They were still interviewing witnesses and examining evidence and had not been ready to release a suspect’s name. A witness was able to provide a description of the suspect following the shooting death of Steven Pitt, and police released a sketch based on that description.
On Sunday, Scottsdale-area lawyers said they were taking extra precautions with the suspect still on the loose at that point. One family law attorney told AZFamily.com many of her colleagues didn’t leave their houses during the weekend. Other attorneys said they planned to avoid their offices on Monday. “People are fearful, we are fearful,” the family law lawyer said, asking to remain anonymous. “Family law is an extremely emotional area of law. People are at heightened emotions most of the time.”
She added, “There are several attorneys that I know who are hiring security to be in their offices. They’re looking for off-duty officers, what have you. There is a lot of fear out there. I don’t think random family law attorneys are the targets here. However, you can’t guess what the motives or actions of someone who is clearly disturbed are going to be.”
Some had criticized the police for not releasing more information. “We’re asking the public to remain vigilant,” Scottsdale police spokesman Ben Hoster told reporters on Sunday. A reward of up to $21,000 had been offered for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.
The family law lawyer said the murders had devastated her community. “I’m not going to stop working. I’m not going to stop going to court or living my life as normal,” she said. But, she added, “Nobody knows who’s next.”
5. Dr. Pitt Had Also Advised on the Rape Cases Involving Ben Roethlisberger & Kobe Bryant
In addition to working on the JonBenet case and Columbine, Dr. Pitt also worked in a professional capacity in the rape cases faced by Kobe Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger. Dr. Pitt was a native of Detroit and was the clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. NBC News, whom Dr. Pitt worked for from time to time, described his role in criminal cases as “helping investigators understand the dynamics between suspects and victims and map out interrogation strategies.”
Pitt was a practicing doctor in Boulder, Colorado, in 1996 when JonBenet Ramsey was killed. Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter told the Phoenix New Times about Dr. Pitt’s work on the case saying, “He gave us insights in terms of ‘profiling’ people that we were looking at that I thought were beyond all of our expertise, important, helpful stuff. He’s tough and tenacious, and he isn’t just a book kind of guy. He was particularly valuable in giving us suggestions about the order and timing and nature of the questions we’d be asking the Ramseys. He always has had extremely strong feelings about the case, which, to put it mildly, he wasn’t afraid to share.”
AZ Family reports that cops were called to the Law Offices of Burt, Feldman and Grenier at around 2:15 p.m. local time after reports of people being wounded. There, police found both Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49, dead of gunshot wounds. Sergeant Ben Hoster told the media that one of the victims, who had been shot in the head, was able to run from the office to the street to scream for help. Police did not say if that was Sharp or Anderson. The woman who ran for help was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Inside of the law office, police found another woman dead of gunshot wounds. Both Sharp and Anderson were paralegals at the law office. Sgt. Hoster said, “They quickly found a blood trail, which they followed to a business east on First Street, and as they entered the business, they found a second female victim, also deceased from a gunshot wound.”
It is not clear if the paralegals were targeted by the suspect or if they were killed simply because they worked at the law firm.
Sgt. Lewis told the media early on that investigators believed that Dr. Pitt and the suspect knew each other either professionally or personally. The argument that the pair had was prolonged enough for a witness to get a good enough view to be able to provide authorities with description enough for a sketch. When questioned about the nature of Dr. Pitt’s high profile work and criminal connections, Sgt. Lewis said, “It’s an angle we’ll be looking into.”
Speaking to AZ Central, Phoenix psychologist David Weinstock said of Dr. Pitt’s work, “I could be wrong, but the timing and circumstances sound a lot like someone who was waiting outside his office for him. I suspect this was one who either got out after Steve helped put him away or someone whose case he was working on who felt threatened about what Steve could do.” The website adds in their report that Dr. Pitt had not filed for any protective orders in Maricopa County.
On June 2, Marshall Levine, psychologist, hypnotherapist and life coach was the final victim of Dwight Jones’ alleged spree, reports AZ Family. The early reporting said that Levine was found at a business near North Hayden Road and East Moutain View. Sgt. Hoster told the media, “We came on the scene and determined that an adult male had been shot to death inside of the business behind me.” Authorities said the discovery was made shortly after midnight, reports AZ Family.
According to Psychology Today, Levine worked with “individuals, business executives and relationship partners.” He also focused on “non-opioid pain and stress control; recovering Friends of Bill wanting more; and working LGBTQ couples.”
Levine’s ex-wife, Carol Kleinman, told ABC News her husband worked as a life coach and hypnotherapist since moving to Arizona from New Jersey. She said he often dealt with clients who “are angry.”