This is a crime that has stunned and stymied investigators.
“It’s very brutal, very cold-blooded,” Phoenix Police homicide detective William Schira said.
Schira said the victims were part of a survey crew working on a fiber optic project at Third Avenue and Lincoln Street, just south of downtown.
It was just after 5:30 a.m. on Friday, July 29, 1994, when a man approached and shot 36-year-old Lealon Spaulding and 23-year-old Haroon Bhatti for no apparent reason.
Spaulding was killed. Bhatti survived, but with life-changing injuries. He was able to tell investigators that a man approached and said something like “What are you guys doing here?” then opened fire on them.
“Sadly, on this particular case there isn’t a lot of forensic evidence to work with,” Schira said.
Spaulding and Bhatti were both engineers. Spaulding graduated from Arizona State University two months prior to being killed and had been on the job for just 10 days. He had a 6-year-old son and a pregnant wife who gave birth to their second boy just weeks after he was killed.
Bhatti, who had to go home to Pakistan after he was shot, was a University of Arizona graduate.
Schira is hoping someone will come forward with information, or, since so much time has passed, the shooter may have developed a conscience and will turn himself in.