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Phoenix man accused of killing nine people during three-week period

3 women also arrested for hindering investigation
Phoenix man accused of killing 9 people
Phoenix man accused of killing 9 people
Phoenix man accused of killing 9 people
Posted at 11:13 AM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 07:28:52-05

A 35-year-old man who was arrested in December for killing his mother and stepfather is accused of killing seven other people around the Valley. 

Scripps sister station KNXV in Phoenix has learned Cleophus Cooksey is accused of killing nine people in a three-week period in late 2017. 

Cooksey was arrested on December 17, after his mother and stepfather were found shot to death in an apartment. They were identified as Rene Cooksey and Edward Nunn.

The other homicides spanned across the Phoenix area for three weeks before that incident. 

Cooksey is accused of the following killings:

November 27
1551 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix

Andrew Remillard and Parker Smith were killed at 10:45 p.m. One victim was found inside of a black vehicle in a parking lot. A second victim was found outside of the car.

December 2
4030 N. 44th Avenue, Phoenix

Salim Richards was killed at 7:44 p.m. He was found by police critically wounded by gunfire and was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials discovered that property including a handgun had been stolen from the victim. 

December 11
500 E. Harrison Drive, Avondale

Police say Jesus Real was found dead inside a home around 3:30 p.m.

December 13
5038 N. 55th Avenue, Glendale

Officers responded to an apartment complex after reports of a shooting at 6:53 p.m. Latorrie Beckford was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds along a sidewalk at the complex. 

December 15
5045 N. 58th Avenue, Glendale

Kristopher Cameron was killed at 7:22 p.m. He died a day after he was found with several gunshot wounds

December 15
1714 S. 3rd Street, Phoenix

Maria Villanueva was kidnapped at 58th Avenue and Camelback at 8:52 p.m. Her body was found on December 16 at 1714 S. 3rd Street.

Police say the investigation started when a Phoenix officer noticed something suspicious while first responding to a call about Cooksey and took the right steps. 

Phoenix police Chief Jeri Williams said gun evidence collected from each homicide scene tied Cooksey to all homicides.

Court records show Cooksey had a previous criminal record for armed robbery and manslaughter 16 years ago. He was released from prison about a year ago and was in and out of jail since. 

On Jan. 18, detectives added seven additional counts of homicide, seven counts of prohibited possessor of a firearm, one count of sexually motivated kidnapping, one count of firearm theft, and one count of armed robbery with a deadly weapon. 

On Thursday, three women were also arrested for hindering the investigation into one of Cooksey's alleged murders.

Liliana Vasquez, Grisedla Vasquez and Desaree Coronado were all arrested on charges of tampering and hindering the homicide investigation related to Jesus Real's Dec. 11 death.

According to a probably cause statement, the Liliana and Vasquez  are sisters of Real and lived together with Coronado, the mother of Real's children, in an apartment. Liliana Vasquez was reportedly dating Cooksey and stayed at the apartment a few times a week.

Cooksey and Liliana Vasquez allegedly broke up on Dec. 10. On Dec. 11, Real was found dead with two gunshot wounds to the face — likely fired while he was sleeping. During the ensuing investigation, detectives were unable to locate Real's cell phone.

Real's phone was later tracked to a nearby motel and found to be in possession of the Vasquez sisters.

Further investigation found that the firearm used in Real's death was stolen from a murder victim prior to this incident. It was also used in later homicides now linked to Cooksey. 

Liliana Vasquez's vehicle was also found to have been in the area of two of the crimes. Police believe she may have given Cooksey a ride to or from those areas.