Phoenix serial killing suspect arrested in deaths of 9

Phoenix Police have arrested a suspect in a series of seemingly random street shootings that gripped the city for more than a year, authorities said Monday.

The youngest of his alleged victims was 12-year-old Maleah Ellis, who was killed on June 12, 2016, with her mom, Stefanie Ellis, and family friend Angela Linner.

The last shootings in the alleged spree occurred on July 11, when someone opened fire on a 21-year-old man and a 4-year-old boy as they were sitting in a vehicle, according to Phoenix police.

The shooter stalked victims after dark, police have said, selecting people who were either outside of their homes or sitting in cars before opening fire with a handgun.

Aaron Saucedo, 23, has been arrested in the "Serial Street Shooter" case.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said 3,300 tips to an anonymous hotline directed police to Saucedo.

A "wide host of evidence", now ties Saucedo to the killing spree, including ballistics, surveillance, and witnesses, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard said.

While Saucedo knew the first victim killed in August 2015, the other slayings appear to have been random, police said. Castro-Garcia, 19, was fatally shot on June 10, 2016.

Aaron Saucedo was arrested for a fatal shooting in April, but. has since been re-booked in connection with another 26 charges in connection with shootings from March until July of 2016.

"Our hearts go out to the surviving families", Phoenix police chief Jeri Williams said.

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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.

She said investigators worked round the clock to connect Saucedo, who was employed part-time as a bus driver, to the series of homicides.

Police said they have not identified a motive but believe Saucedo acted alone.

" 'I had a gut feeling it was him, ' she told paper on Monday".

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

Sylvia Ellis, the mother and grandmother of two victims, said she was reeling from news of the charges after the trail seemed to have grown cold for so long.

The next shooting did not happen until April 1 2016, when Mr Verdugo-Sanchez was fatally shot.

"The fact of them finding somebody, at least it was some type of news", Smith said. 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. However, they said, none of the evidence matched.

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

"The tips that came in were not so specific that it had to come from someone who knew the whole case - they were general and vague in nature, but they were enough to push us in the right direction", Howard says.

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