Phoenix serial killing suspect arrested in deaths of 7

Phoenix police Chief Jeri L. Williams on Monday announces the arrest of 23-year-old Aaron Saucedo in connection with the serial street shootings that terrorized the Phoenix area over four months in 2016

Police are hunting for a serial killer terrorizing the Phoenix area.

Police initially linked seven deaths and nine shooting incidents over a four-month period to the Phoenix Serial Street Shooter. Authorities say Saucedo didn't know the other victims.

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.

On Monday, Williams and Mayor Greg Stanton appeared alongside other top officials, including Maricopa County's top prosecutor, to announce the break in a case that had appeared largely stalled in recent months as leads and tips dried up.

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Police previously said at least seven people were killed and two others wounded over a four-month period a year ago. They said they'd be giving out the $75,000 reward offered for tips, but they wouldn't reveal details about whether the money was going to one person or multiple people.

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. The Associated Press was unable to reach Saucedo's public defender on Monday.

Investigators initially believed a serial shooter was responsible for seven deaths previous year, but in recent weeks they determined two other victims were also shot by the same gunman, who they believe to be Saucedo, including the victim killed in August 2015.

The gunman's targets included men, women and children, many of them ambushed near their homes in a working-class neighborhood from August 2015 to July 2016. Since that time, Saucedo has been implicated in the death of 22-year-old Jesse Olivas, who was killed in a drive-by shooting on January 1, 2016. All of the killings were random except for the first one, Williams said. "Today we are closer to providing them the justice they deserve", Williams said.

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Authorities realized they had a serial shooter on the loose in June after finding links in crime scene evidence from five shootings.

Nobody was killed in those shootings, in which about a dozen vehicles on the interstate outside the city were shot between August 29 and September 10.

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".

But in a odd quirk, the Department of Public Safety said Saucedo's gun from the killing of his mother's friend had been test-fired as part of the freeway shooting probe. "May God bless (Saucedo), and I'm not anybody to wish bad upon him", she said.

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

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