Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
National | By Mildred Castro

Phoenix serial killer suspect Aaron Saucedo is arrested

"We have multiple guns that were used in these shootings", Howard tells PEOPLE.

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

Police said they investigated whether Saucedo might be the so-called Phoenix freeway shooter, believed responsible for nearly 12 incidents, none of them fatal, on Interstate 10 in 2015.

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

They eventually made their breakthrough following a tip from the local community.

A judge read the list of charges against Saucedo, including eight counts of first-degree murder, six counts of drive-by shooting, three counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated assault, NBC affiliate KPNX-TV reported.

Authorities are yet to identify a motive behind the killings but they believe Saucedo acted alone.

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'Today is a good day in the city of Phoenix.

It wasn't after discovering that Saucedo had pawned in a High-Point 9mm handgun days after the death of his mother's boyfriend that cops began linking the son to a series of unsolved murders involving Latno's in the community.

Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton congratulated police and other law enforcement officials who hunted down the suspect.

Details of the evidence police gathered implicating Saucedo were not available because a judge temporarily granted a prosecution request to seal records related to his case, court spokeswoman Karen Arra said.

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. Saucedo only knew Romero, who was the first victim in the shooting spree, and police said they don't know what motivated the killings.

Police gave few details on how they linked the man to the killings, which stopped last July amid extensive media coverage.

Saucedo now faces a total nine separate murder charges.

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One tipster could receive a $75,000 reward for information leading to the arrest, police said.

Lydia Lopez, the mother of Jesse Olivas, said she suspected her son's death was connected to the Serial Street Shooter. Castro-Garcia, 19, was fatally shot on June 10, 2016.

Castro said she was happy a suspect has been arrested but sad because it does not mean her son will come back. "I waited every day for justice, but things don't change. The pain is the same". She said he was never a trouble-maker and preferred playing basketball with friends over partying.

"For the previous year, I've been saying, 'Hey - we need tips, because that is where the break in the case is going to come from, ' and that's where it came from", Howard reemphasizes.

"I had a gut feeling it was him", she told the Republic.

Marina Smith was seven months pregnant last year when her partner, 21-year-old Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, was gunned down.

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", she said. All of the other slayings occurred in Latino neighborhoods between March and July of 2016.

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