FLAGSTAFF (AP) – Connie Jones' life wasn't routine. She switched up her commute to work, went to different grocery stores, constantly looked over her shoulder, and took firearms training and defensive driving to protect herself and her son from an ex-husband she said was a maniac.
Authorities have said that man, Dwight Lamon Jones, is responsible for the recent deaths of six people in the Phoenix area, some of whom had links to Jones' divorce. Connie Jones always feared she'd be the one killed and said Tuesday she is grateful to be alive.
"I felt that I had a personal terrorist," she said. "I had someone who was specifically targeting me, someone who had time and nothing else to do but think about how to hurt me. His death, I think, is the best thing that's come out of this ordeal."
Jones said the man she was married to for more than 20 years was likable at first but his behavior became more erratic, and he used the courts to further torture her after she filed for divorce in 2009 and after he was arrested on a domestic violence charge at their home in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Authorities say Dwight Jones, 56, remained bitter about his divorce years after they split and began confronting people linked to the breakup and shooting them. The shooting deaths happened over four days before Dwight Jones ended his own life as police closed in on him at a Scottsdale extended-stay hotel.
Connie Jones' current husband and a former police detective, Rick Anglin, first suspected the killings were committed by Dwight Jones. Anglin said he recognized the physical offices of those who were killed, including two paralegals who worked for the same firm as Connie Jones' divorce attorney and a forensic psychiatrist who testified in the divorce case, and alerted police.
One paralegal, Veleria Sharp, 48, had worked at the firm for about a year, and the other, Laura Anderson, 49, for 10 years, said the divorce attorney, Elizabeth Feldman. The psychiatrist, Steven Pitt, 59, testified in the divorce case that Dwight Jones had anxiety and mood disorders, and he was at risk of using violence against his wife, child and himself.
Marriage counselor Marshall Levine, 72, apparently was targeted in a case of mistaken identity, authorities said.
Analysis of shell casings found outside Pitt's office, the law firm and Levine's office confirmed the victims were killed with the same gun, police said.
Dwight Jones also was linked to the killings of a Fountain Hills couple, Mary Simmons, 70, and Byron Thomas, 72, who were found dead inside their home. Police said the couple occasionally met up with Jones to play tennis at local parks.