Wed, May 10, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Man arrested in Serial Street Shooter killings

NY Times News Service

It was a crime spree that killed nine people, stumped the police for months and left residents of Phoenix unnerved.

On Monday, Arizona authorities announced that they had arrested a 23-year-old man in what came to be known as the Serial Street Shooter case.

At an afternoon news conference, Phoenix police chief Jeri Williams said the authorities had linked the shootings to Aaron Saucedo, who has been in police custody since his arrest on April 19 in the first of the nine killings.

He was rebooked on Monday into a Maricopa County jail on 26 additional felony counts, including eight of homicide, three of attempted homicide, and several of drive-by shooting and aggravated assault, Williams said.

“This case plagued our community for more than a year, as the mayor mentioned to you, and left behind a trail of victims that included mothers, sons, brothers, sisters and families still mourning the loss of their loved ones,” she said at an afternoon news conference before listing each attack.

City, county and federal law enforcement officials put tens of thousands of hours into investigating the case and received approximately 3,300 tips, some of which led to Saucedo, Phoenix police spokesman Sergeant Jon Howard said.

In all, Saucedo was booked for 12 shootings that occurred from August 2015 to July last year.

In addition to the nine people killed, two were wounded.

Maricopa County attorney Bill Montgomery said his office planned to review the evidence and evaluate which charges to pursue in order to prepare the strongest case possible against Saucedo.

Williams said the first victim in the shootings was Raul Romero, 61, who was killed in August 2015.

The police said at the news conference that they had found no “correlation” between Saucedo and the victims, though the Arizona Republic reported that Romero had been dating Saucedo’s mother when he was killed.

Many of the shootings took place in southwest Phoenix, with the victims targeted as they stood outside homes or walked about the area’s predominantly Latino, working-class neighborhoods.

The shootings stymied the authorities for months, and the police are still unsure of Saucedo’s motive.

“It’s been said that a serial killer is like a chameleon, and that’s what made this case so frustrating,” US Marshal for the District of Arizona David Gonzales said.

The killing rampage continued until June last year, when Saucedo allegedly fatally shot three people. The next month, he shot at a 24-year-old man and the man’s 4-year-old nephew, though both were not wounded, Williams said.

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