As darkness descended upon Phoenix on Sunday, so did some angels. Wearing red berets and winged T-shirts, the Guardian Angels citizens’ patrol chapter from Apache Junction walked city streets for hours to alleviate community fear over two serial killers targeting the area.
“We want people to realize they don’t have to hide and sneak around from shadow to shadow,” Brodie Broderson said. “We’re not afraid to go out and walk. We need to be brave enough to go out there and look him down.”
Broderson has more than 20 years’ experience with the Guardian Angels, a group formed in New York City in 1979 to keep watch over the subways.
Broderson and about five other men and one woman patted down each other to show they were unarmed about 7:30 p.m. before breaking up into two groups to canvass the area. Beginning at 32nd Street and Indian School Road, they combed through alleys, peered into bushes, picked up litter and waved to passers-by as they walked.
The group decided to gather in Phoenix after residents at last week’s community meeting sought their help.
“The police are great,” Broderson said, “but they’re going to wait until someone gets shot again before they can do something again.”
Many residents smiled as the Guardian Angels walked by. Some honked their horns, while others stopped and pointed.
The Baseline Killer has killed six people and raped nearly a dozen women over the past year. At the same time, the Serial Shooter has left five dead and even more wounded.
“If we let our fear control us we wouldn’t be out here,” said Guardian Angel Robert McClintick. “We’re going to push it as long as we can, or at least until he’s caught.”