Serial killing suspect arrested in 9 deaths, police say

A gunman who terrorised the Arizona city of Phoenix past year with a series of random street shootings has been arrested, the city police said on Monday (8 May).

He faces 26 additional felony counts, including multiple counts of homicide, aggravated assault and drive-by shootings.

The suspect in a string of murders that took place in a Phoenix, Arizona neighborhood throughout 2015 and 2016 was arrested on Monday.

A shooter stalked victims after dark and gunned them down as they stood outside their homes or sat in their cars.

The so-called Serial Shooters randomly targeted pedestrians; Dale Hausner killed himself while in prison, and Samuel Dieteman is serving a life sentence. They had a clear mission.

A break in the case came when police arrested Aaron Juan Saucedo, 23, in April in connection with the August 2015 killing of death of 61-year-old Raul Romero who knew Saucedo's mother.

A "wide host of evidence", now ties Saucedo to the killing spree, including ballistics, surveillance, and witnesses, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard said.

Investigators initially believed a serial shooter was responsible for seven deaths a year ago, but in recent weeks they determined two other victims were also shot by the same gunman, who they believe to be Saucedo, including the victim killed in August 2015.

June 10, 2016: A 19-year-old man, Manuel Castro Garcia, was shot and killed outside a home around 9:30 p.m.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams says the arrest brings closure to the mostly Hispanic community.


Saucedo was a bus driver for the city of Phoenix through a temp agency for several months in 2015, Phoenix police said. The shootings ended abruptly in July amid a massive publicity effort, and Howard said Saucedo told investigators that he had changed his appearance and stopped driving his BMW around that time.

Police were led to Saucedo by tips from the community and they said they will be giving out the $75,000 reward they offered for information in the case.

The shootings stymied the authorities for months, and the police are still unsure of Saucedo's motive. At least six of the victims were shot and killed in the Maryvale area, a predominantly Latino section of west Phoenix with a reputation for high crime, drugs, and gang-related violence.

"I had a gut feeling it was him", she told the Republic. They followed the evidence, they were thorough.

- Diego Verdugo-Sanchez was shot dead on April 1, 2016 in front of his home.

Smith said she had grown frustrated as detectives kept her in the dark about the investigation.

The next victim after Romero's death was 22-year-old Jesse Olivas who was shot dead on January 1, 2016.

Saucedo is also implicated in the non-fatal shooting of two teenage boys on March 17, 2016.

"It was a real shock and a real loss because he was always involved in our lives and to have him taken away from us like that was a really terrible thing to go through", she said.

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