Phoenix A former janitor was convicted Friday of murdering six people and attacking 19 others in dozens of random nighttime shootings of pedestrians, bicyclists and animals that terrorized this desert city over a 14-month period in 2005 and 2006.
The convictions conclude the first phase of the six-month trial of Dale Shawn Hausner, the main suspect in metropolitan Phoenix’s Serial Shooter attacks. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Hausner, whose penalty phase begins March 23.
Hausner scratched out notes and whispered to one of his attorneys as jurors delivered guilty verdicts on 80 of 86 charges against him. He also was acquitted in two killings.
“It was a good day because we took something bad off the street,” said victim Tony Long, who still has 30 shotgun pellets in his body from when he was shot while walking in June 2006.
Hausner’s relatives didn’t respond to questions from reporters as they were escorted out of the courtroom by court security. Tim Agan, an attorney for Hausner, declined to comment on the verdicts.
Hausner was convicted of six first-degree murder charges, 18 attempted first-degree murder charges, two conspiracy to commit first-degree murder charges, 16 aggravated assault charges, 23 drive-by shooting charges, nine animal cruelty charges, three counts of discharging a gun at a structure, one count of unlawfully discharging a gun and two counts of arson of an occupied structure.
He was acquitted in the May 2005 killings of Tony Mendez and Reginald Remillard, the July 2005 shooting of a horse and a December 2005 attack on a woman that didn’t result in an injury.
“We’re happy he’s not going to be out in the public ever again,” said Marci Matt, Remillard’s sister. “Even though there was a not-guilty (verdict in Remillard’s death), we still have a sense of closure today.”
Authorities say Hausner preyed on people, dogs and horses in attacks that ended in August 2006 with the arrests of Hausner and his roommate at their apartment in Mesa. Inside, police found guns, news clippings of the killings and a city map marked with the locations of some of the shootings.
The Serial Shooter attacks and an unrelated serial killer case kept neighborhood watch groups on high alert in the summer of 2006.