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.
Saucedo, who has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the 2015 homicide, has been booked on 26 additional felony charges including murder related to the alleged serial street shootings, Howard says.
In the end, nine people were killed in 12 separate shootings.
Most of the attacks took place between 2015 and July of 2016 in a predominantly Latino neighbourhood of the Arizona city.
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.
"This case plagued our community for more than a year...and left behind a trail of victims that included mothers, sons, brothers, sisters and families still mourning the loss of their loved ones", Williams said at a press conference where she announced Saucedo's arrest.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said 3,300 tips to an anonymous hotline directed police to Saucedo.
"They had a clear mission: bring this killer to justice and get it right".
By last month, Lora Romero had nearly given up hope that Phoenix police would ever find the gunman who murdered her father, Raul, in August 2015. The 23-year-old serial killing suspect accused of fatally shooting seven people last year and wounding two others in attacks that terrorized a largely Latino Phoenix neighborhood was arrested Monday, May 8, 2017, authorities said. The mother of a young man who was the second person killed wished police could have connected her son's death to the case earlier, potentially taking Saucedo off the streets before more killings were committed.
Authorities said they don't know of any motive for the shootings. Castro-Garcia, 19, was fatally shot on June 10, 2016.
Williams said the first victim in the shootings was Raul Romero, 61, who was killed in August 2015.
Phoenix police refused to comment on whether the evidence could have led them to Saucedo. All of the killings were random except for the first one, Williams said.
March 17, 2016: A 16-year-old boy was shot and injured while walking in a residential area around 11:30 p.m.
The suspect struck again the next day but did not kill anyone.
"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 terrible thing to go through", she said.
"When they showed me the picture, I did get a little chills", he said.