Random Recreational Violence: Phoenix's Serial Shooters
On the night of May 2, 2006, Dale Hausner brought his shotgun on one of these midnight rides and killed a man. He then handed the gun to Dieteman, who 15 minutes later shot and killed Claudia Gutierrez Cruz, 20, as she left a bus stop in Scottsdale. Then they went back to Hausner's house for a few rounds of rum and coke.
Drinking and smoking methamphetamine, Hausner, first alone and then joining Dieteman, regularly cruised the main avenues of Phoenix and its suburbs with Hausner's shotgun and .22-caliber rifle. They attacked pedestrians and bicyclists, killing 8 and wounding 17. They also shot at horses and dogs, killing at least 10 animals. They set fire to two Wal-Mart stores and shot up a liquor store.
Hausner ranted about his hatred of the homeless and prostitutes. He and Dieteman frequented neighborhoods where they expected to encounter members of these unwanted groups, but plenty of other people were among their victimsand, as the attacks increased in number and notoriety, regular people became afraid to walk their own neighborhoods.
Among the pair's many victims was Paul Patrick. During a night ride in June 2006, Hausner spotted Patrick walking down the street, and fired his shotgun. Hundreds of pellets sprayed into Patrick, from his collarbone to his hip. He fell instantly, and froze in terror as a man carrying a .45 approached him. It wasn't Hausner, but Saul Guerrero, a neighbor who'd called the police and run out of his house with his own weapon, ready to defend the injured man. Patrick nearly died that night. Most of the pellets remain in his body and he now uses a wheel chair. In 2009, he suffered a stroke that may have been related to the shooting.
17-year-old Kibil Tambadu was another victim. He and his family had already survived a civil war in Sierra Leone. Hausner shot him in the stomach; then he and Dieteman laughed as the young man doubled over and clutched his abdomen in pain.
In July, Dieteman was arrested for shoplifting. Hausner was furious, but a drive was a sure-fire way for them both to blow off steam. He spotted Raul Garcia on his bicycle, and shot and killed him.
Eight days later, on July 30, 2006, the pair made their last kill. Robin Blasnek, a 22-year-old office assistant, was walking in Mesa from her parents' house to her boyfriend's. It was such a short distance that she was wearing her pajamas and slippers. Hausner shot her in Dieteman's presence with a .410 shotgun. He forgot to throw the shell out the window, which he'd made a habit of, and instead dropped it into his empty Dr. Pepper can, which he threw into the trash along with some bills once he got home. For police, this was a crucial oversight.