Police now say 9 killed in serial shootings case

A 23-year-old Phoenix man arrested in a series of shootings in which nine people were killed is proclaiming his innocence.

They believed he was responsible for nine ambushes that killed seven people, including a 12-year-old girl, and put the city on edge.

Numerous shootings took place in southwest Phoenix, with the victims targeted as they stood outside homes or walked about the area's predominantly Latino, working-class neighborhoods.

The shooter stalked victims after dark, police have said, picking victims who were either outside of their homes or sitting in cars.

"It's been said that a serial killer is like a chameleon, and that's what made this case so frustrating", U.S. Marshal David Gonzales said.

"Today is a good day in the city of Phoenix", Mayor Greg Stanton said on Monday (8 May).

At a press conference, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said the arrest brought the families of the nine people killer "closer to justice".

The first victim, police said, was Raul Romero, who was killed on August 16, 2015.

A tip from the community led investigators to Aaron Saucedo, 23, and detectives were able to link him to the string of attacks by analyzing ballistics evidence, surveillance video and witness statements, police said.

Police say it appears Saucedo didn't know any of the victims except for his mother's boyfriend, Raul Romero, who was found shot to death in his driveway.

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June 10, 2016: A 19-year-old man, Manuel Castro Garcia, was shot and killed outside a home around 9:30 p.m. Saucedo has been booked on an additional 26 felony counts including homicide.

"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", William said.

Police said the killings were unrelated to a series of 2015 freeway shootings in Phoenix that terrified drivers.

Details of the evidence police gathered implicating Saucedo were not available because a judge temporarily granted a prosecution request to seal records related to his case, court spokeswoman Karen Arra said.

It wasn't until after Aaron Juan Saucedo, a local laborer had been picked up in April 19 that they were able to piece a string of unsolved murders which had taken place between March and July a year ago. "May God bless (Saucedo), and I'm not anybody to wish bad upon him", she said.

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

A prosecutor says some information about the arrest of a Phoenix man accused in a series of fatal shootings is being withheld from the public because the case remains under investigation.

Jesse Olivas, 22, was shot dead on the street on January 1, 2016.

The next shooting didn't happen until April 1, 2016, when Verdugo-Sanchez was fatally shot.

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