Phoenix man faces possible charges for 2016 serial shootings

A 23-year-old man suspected of killing eight people over seven months in a string of serial shootings in Phoenix in 2016 is already behind bars on a murder charge for another slaying the year before, the city's police chief said on Monday.

He was rebooked Monday into a Maricopa County jail on 26 additional felony counts, including eight of homicide, three of attempted homicide, and several of drive-by shooting and aggravated assault, Williams said.

Saucedo now faces a total nine separate murder charges.

Saucedo's targets included men, women and children, many of them ambushed near their homes in a working class neighbourhood from August 2015 to July 2016.

Raul Romero, 61, pictured here with his daughter Lora, was the first victim of the Phoenix serial shooter, police say.

But he said that the thousands of tips from the public were extremely important in solving the case - even if a very small percentage of them were usable.

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

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Saucedo had been arrested last month in connection with a separate 2015 killing, police said.

While Monday's news puts to rest one mystery, another remains: The authorities said they were still investigating a series of shootings along highways in the Phoenix area that they said appeared to have no connection to the Saucedo case.

Castro Garcia, 19, was killed on June 10, 2016.

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

After that, police said, investigators learned that the 23-year-old had sold a Hi-Point 9 mm handgun to a pawn shop 16 days later, on September 1, 2015.

Gisela Castro, the mother of shooting victim Manuel Castro-Garcia, said news of the arrest felt like she was reliving the day she was told her son had been killed. Records show he was pulled over for allegedly running a red light on October 27, 2015, more than two months after the first shooting. Ultimately, it wasn't a match, police said on Monday.

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

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

Smith said she had grown frustrated over the past year as detectives kept her in the dark about the investigation.

Saucedo is also implicated in the non-fatal shooting of two teenage boys on March 17, 2016.

"When they showed me the picture, I did get a little chills", he said.

"It was a real shock and a real loss because he was always involved in our lives and to have him taken away from us like that was a really very bad thing to go through", she said.

Authorities say a suspect has been arrested in series of shooting attacks in Phoenix previous year that left at least seven people dead and two others wounded over a four-month period.

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