Phoenix serial shootings: Suspect accused of killing at least nine identified

Aaron Saucedo

Authorities in Arizona announced Monday that they had identified and charged a suspect in a series of shootings that killed nine people over an 11-month period.

Aaron Saucedo, 23, had been arrested last month in connection with the August 2015 murder of his mother’s boyfriend, 61-year-old Raul Romero. He faces 26 new felony charges related to 12 attacks, which took place between August 2015 and July 2016.

All but one of the killings took place in Maryvale, a predominantly Latino neighborhood of Phoenix. Police say the shooter stalked the streets after dark, picking victims who were either outside of their homes or sitting in cars.

Authorities said there was no immediate connection between the suspect and his alleged victims and no sign that anyone else was involved. Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams also said that there was no apparent connection between Saucedo and a series of shootings in August and September 2015 that targeted cars on freeways.

Williams says tips from the public led to Saucedo being linked to last year’s killings.

Police initially linked nine shooting incidents and seven murders to the so-called “Serial Street Shooter.” However, investigators said that they have linked Saucedo to two other killings — the murder of Romero and the January 2016 death of 22-year-old Jesse Olivas.

The first incident of the initial nine linked to a serial shooter happened on March 17, 2016, when a Nissan drove past two teenagers, pulled a U-turn and a man inside the vehicle opened fire, hitting a 16-year-old boy in the arm, abdomen and hip.

The teen survived the attack. 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.

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