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Arizona man arrested in suspected serial killings

10 May 2017

A suspected gunman who terrorised a USA city a year ago with a series of seemingly random shootings has been arrested, police said.

But he is alleged to have been involved in a total of 12 shootings.

The majority of Saucedo's alleged attacks took place past year when seven were shot dead and two others were wounded over a four-month period - March to July - in a predominately Latino neighborhood in the Phoenix area.

The shooter stalked victims after dark, police have said, picking victims who were either outside of their homes or sitting in cars.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Tuesday more charges were possible in the case.

"Today is a good day in the city of Phoenix", said Mayor Greg Stanton, praising the law enforcement task force that hunted the shooter for almost a year. They worked every lead to bring this killer to justice.

Police booked 23-year-old Aaron Saucedo on 26 separate felony counts, all related to shootings from 2015 and 2016.

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

Police say that after Romero's killing, Saucedo struck again about four months later in killing 22-year-old Jesse Olivas, who was gunned down on New Year's Day 2016 while standing in front of a home.

Mr Castro-Garcia, 19, was fatally shot on June 10 2016.

Police say tips from the community resulted in his arrest.

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Saucedo was a bus driver for the city of Phoenix through a temp agency for several months in July through August 2015, Phoenix police said.

Howard said a motive had not yet been determined, but police have obtained incriminating statements from Saucedo, who has no criminal record other than a traffic offense. Records show he was pulled over for allegedly running a red light on October 27, 2015, more than two months after the first shooting.

Investigators initially believed a serial shooter was responsible for seven deaths a year ago, but in recent weeks they determined two other victims - the one killed in August 2015 and another person slain in January 2016 - were shot by the so-called "serial street shooter" who they believe to be Saucedo.

There is no known correlation between the victims and the suspect, police said.

" 'I had a gut feeling it was him, ' she told paper on Monday".

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

She said she had grown frustrated about being kept in the dark about the investigation.

"The fact of them finding somebody, at least it was some type of news", Smith said.

"I'm happy my kids are going to be able to walk outside and I won't have to fear that they're going to get shot", Pastrana said.

"I feel as if, 'I think this might be the guy.' I don't know if this has ever happened to you, but when you haven't seen someone in a long time and perhaps you haven't even spoke to them, but when you see them, you have some sort of contact with them - you instantly recognize them even though you can't recall their name".