A man was arrested Monday in a string of serial killings that terrified a Phoenix neighborhood a year ago, a huge break in a case that involved nine deaths and a dozen separate shootings.
Aaron Saucedo, initially arrested on April 19 for a fatal shooting in 2015, was re-booked on Monday into a Maricopa county jail and is now facing 26 charges for a total of 12 shootings, reports USA Today.
Nine people were killed in all in a case dubbed the Serial Street Shooter.
Although the shooter has struck as far east as 32nd Street, the most obvious connection between the killings is geography.
On Monday, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams and Mayor Greg Stanton appeared with Maricopa County officials to announce there had been a break in the case. They worked every lead to bring this killer to justice.
Saucedo was arrested in April in connection with the shooting death of 61-year-old Raul Romero, who was the boyfriend of Saucedo's mother and held on $750,000 bail.
Investigators received a tip-off from the community and analysed surveillance videos, evidence from the crime scene and witness statements, which eventually led them to link Saucedo to the string of deadly attacks.
Aaron Saucedo is accused of carrying out the separate slayings which police previously described as the work of a serial killer.
Since that time, Saucedo has been implicated in the death of 22-year-old Jesse Olivas, who was killed in a drive-by shooting on January 1, 2016.
The city's fear peaked because most of the killings came in a cluster, with seven people slain in a two-and-a-half-month period last spring. She said he was never a trouble-maker and preferred playing basketball with friends over partying. He may be linked to the serial street shootings and the freeway shootings that plagued the Valley for years.
- Manuel Castro Garcia, 18, was killed outside his home on June 10. Saucedo knew only the first victim, and the other killings were random, authorities said.
Sylvia Ellis, who lost her daughter and granddaughter, said she is in shock at the arrest. "May God bless (Saucedo), and I'm not anybody to wish bad upon him", she said. Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, 21, was shot outside a home at around 9pm.
"When they showed me the picture, I did get a little chills", he said.
The suspected murder weapon in at least one of the shootings was a High-Point 9mm pistol, which police recovered from a local pawn shop, according to CBS.
On March 17, 2016, police say Saucedo shot a teenage boy in the arm.
In the most recent attack on July 11, 2016, a 21-year-old man and his 4-year-old nephew escaped injury after the gunman shot at a vehicle they were sitting in.