Police arrest serial killings suspect after months of unease

Police dubbed Saucedo the "Serial Street Shooter" for a spate of shootings over a four-month period that left Phoenix residents terrified.

Speaking to PEOPLE Tuesday morning, Phoenix police spokesman Jonathan Howard likens the year-long investigation that led to 23-year-old Aaron Saucedo's arrest to assembling a jigsaw puzzle.

One of the nine people was a 61-year-old man killed in August 2015 whom Saucedo knew through his mother.

The suspect has now been held responsible for the deaths of eight other people, whom he killed between January and July 2016 in a predominantly Latino neighbourhood of Phoenix.

But police say that Saucedo had no personal connection to the people he killed following this incident, and that they appeared to be picked at random, killed while entering their homes or lounging in their yards.

The so-called Serial Shooters randomly targeted pedestrians; Dale Hausner killed himself while in prison, and Samuel Dieteman is serving a life sentence.

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. "We hope that our community will rest a little easier and that our officers will get a little more sleep knowing that the wheels of justice are finally in motion", she said.

Saucedo was initially arrested last month in connection with the August 2015 shooting death of 61-year-old Raul Romero.

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.

Another series of shootings a year ago put Phoenix on edge, but Williams said there's no evidence to connect Saucedo to the I-10 Freeway Shootings.

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- Diego Verdugo-Sanchez was shot dead on April 1, 2016 in front of his home.

In 2015, Saucedo was taken into custody on April 19 on suspicion of killing his mother's boyfriend.

Come June 12, Saucedo gunned 33-year-old Stefanie Ellis, her 12-year-old daughter Maleah along with 31-year-old friend Angela Linner in the street at 3am. Authorities say Saucedo did not know the other victims.

The investigation into the serial killings had focused on what authorities said were seven fatal shootings.

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

In the most deadly single attack, two women and a 12-year-old girl were shot to death in front of a home before dawn on June 12, 2016.

Authorities are yet to identify a motive behind the killings but they believe Saucedo acted alone. "But my son is not coming back", Castro said.

The suspected murder weapon in at least one of the shootings was a High-Point 9mm pistol, which police recovered from a local pawn shop, according to CBS.

"I was just in shock", she said.

March 17, 2016: A 16-year-old boy was shot and injured while walking in a residential area around 11:30 p.m.

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