A series of deaths in Scottsdale, Arizona point to a rise in the visibility of toxic masculinity and domestic violence incidents in the Black community inflicted upon numerous men and women.
For Dr. Connie Jones, it had deadly results.
“I knew that one day we would be in a situation where he was trying to kill me,” she said. “And I felt that I had a personal terrorist. Most people have a general risk in life. I had someone who was specifically targeting me, someone who had time and nothing else to do but think about how to hurt me.”
Jones spoke out on Tuesday after her ex-husband, Dwight Lamont Jones, 56, committed suicide in a June 4 police stand-off which stemmed from a manhunt. Police were searching for Jones after he murdered six people in cold blood, all of which were connected in some way to the couple’s divorce proceedings.
“His death, I think, is the best thing that’s come out of this whole ordeal, and I hope that where he’s going he will finally get what he deserves,” Jones said.
Jones said that she is well aware that her and her teenage son were intended targets of her ex-husband.
On May 31 Jones shot and killed world-renowned forensic psychologist Dr. Steven Pitt, who was instrumental in assessing Jones seven years ago when the couple’s divorce began. Pitt was known for his role in several famous cases, including the JonBenet Ramsey case and the Jodi Arias trial.
Jones also shot Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49, two paralegals who worked for the attorney who represented Connie Jones in the divorce proceedings.
A fourth victim, life coach Marshall Levine, was fatally shot on June 2 at his office in Scottsdale.
Police believe Levine was not an intended target but was in the wrong place at the wrong time as the Jones’ son was scheduled to meet his psychiatrist at the same building where Levine was gunned down.
The last two victims, Mary Simmons, 70, and Byron Thomas, 72, were killed on June 4 hours before the standoff. Simmons and Thomas were tennis partners who often played alongside Dwight Jones.
For years Connie Jones said she was held captive by her ex-husband who often voiced he would kill her, their son, and then would threaten to commit suicide.
She filed for divorce in 2009. Their divorce was finalized in 2011 after years of hiring and firing of lawyers–something Jones said her husband did to hold up the proceedings. Jones said she was even ordered to pay her ex-husband $6,00 a month and $300,000 from their checking account, retirement funds and their child’s college fund. Jones also said she was also ordered to pay a portion of her ex-husband’s attorney fees because he was unemployed.
“Part of the contentiousness of the divorce was the visitation,” she said. “I felt this man was a threat to the child. I felt that he was a threat to his emotional and physical safety, which the judge agreed. And yet he was given supervised visits, not no visits.”
After years of dealing with the police and the family court system, Jones said she felt unsafe and unheard.
“I thought that the courts when they heard that, they would help us, that they would stop him, but they did not,” said Jones.
Jones said at one point she was forced to hire Rick Anglin, a former police officer, as a security escort. Jones later married Anglin.
The couple said they had to resort to desperate measures to keep themselves safe which included three safe houses, a bevy of rental cars, firearms training, defense training and attack dogs.
Jones said she was on vacation when the killing spree began and was terrified when she returned to find all the suspects were personal acquaintances.
She offers her deepest condolences the families of those who lost their lives at the hands of her ex-husband.