Phoenix serial killing suspect arrested in deaths of 9

Aaron Saucedo, 23, is accused of killing nine people dating back to 2015.


The 23-year-old Phoenix man arrested in a series of shootings in which nine people were killed has appeared in court, but records from that overnight appearance have been temporarily sealed by a judge at the request of prosecutors.

Sylvia Ellis, who lost her daughter and granddaughter, said she is in shock at the arrest.

Aaron Juan Saucedo is facing 26 new charges that include eight first-degree murder charges, aggravated assault and drive-by shootings.

Hernandez is calling for a summary of the case to be released.

In interviews with families of victims and residents, people said they were happy that police made an arrest but questioned whether it would have happened sooner had the killings occurred in a different neighborhood. "I don't want to feel a false sense of security until this person is really, we've the right person and he's behind bars".

Police announced Monday that Saucedo had been arrested in the case dubbed the Serial Street Shooter. The tip that led to Saucedo was one of the latter, Howard said, just another observation in the Latino-dominated neighborhoods of southern Phoenix that a person and vehicle matched the sketch that police had begun to circulate around the city after the shootings began.

A few feet from a large portrait of 32-year-old Horacio de Jesus Pena, turned backward because it's still too hard for her to look at, Beltran recounted the day her son was gunned down outside of their home after leaving work.

On Monday, they announced they had arrested Aaron Juan Saucedo, 23, a former city bus driver, in the killings while providing scant detail about what motivated him or details about how they made a break in the case, other than to credit tips.

Saucedo initially was arrested last month in connection with the August 2015 killing.

Karen Callahan, executive director of Genesis City, a nonprofit group that runs the school, said it is unknown whether he moved onto another high school or dropped out.

The case finally broke when Saucedo was arrested last month in connection with the August 2015 fatal shooting of a man, 61-year-old Raul Romero, who had a relationship with Saucedo's mother. Authorities investigated Saucedo more closely and connected him to the serial killings.

The killing rampage continued until June, when Saucedo allegedly fatally shot three people.

"For the past 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.

"May God bless (Saucedo), and I'm not anybody to wish bad upon him", she said.

Marina Smith, the partner of 21-year-old Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, who was gunned down on April 1, 2016, said she welcomed news of the arrest but was still grappling with his death.

Smith was seven months pregnant with the couple's child when Verdugo-Sanchez was fatally shot in front of a home. Saucedo knew only the first victim, and the other killings were random, authorities said.

She said she had grown frustrated about being kept in the dark about the investigation. "But they wanted me to find out from them and not the news".

Police say Saucedo shot at two teenage boys on March 17, 2016, striking one of them in the arm.

The suspect struck again the next day but did not kill anyone.

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