Artist behind serial shooter sketch describes his process

Posted at 4:54 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-28 21:08:24-04

Phoenix police are hoping the sketch released on a serial killer will help identify the man responsible for shooting nine people since March.

Kirk Messick is the forensic artist behind the sketch. His talent for art began when he was 3 years old. But at that time, he had no idea he would be using his skills to catch criminals.

"My visual is that I would be doing my master piece and the galleries would be waiting for the next one to fly out," Messick said. “It's always great to know that the talent God has given me has given me the ability to help the community."

Messick has spent the last 27 years as the forensic artist for the Phoenix Police Department. His sketches have helped investigators arrest some of the most wanted criminals, including the Baseline killer.

One suspect was so shocked to see his sketch after his arrest that he actually wanted a copy. Messick is modest about his ability, giving a lot of the credit to the victims and witnesses that come forward.

"They are the hero in my eyes," Messick said.

His most recent sketch was released to help catch a serial shooter who's been targeting people in the Phoenix community since March.