Phoenix serial killing suspect arrested in deaths of 9

Raquel Nash
May 10, 2017

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.

"Thank you. It was terrifying having a monster like this on the streets", a Twitter user wrote after Phoenix police announced Saucedo's arrest.

The serial shooter that plagued the Phoenix area for four months in 2016 has been apprehended, according to allegations by Phoenix police. But then police got a lead from the community that led them to take a closer look at Saucedo. The Associated Press reports that Saucedo faces a total of "26 felony counts of homicide, aggravated assault and drive-by-shooting".

Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner Eartha Washington ordered Saucedo held without bond.

Records related to the initial court appearance remain sealed at the prosecution's request.

Deputy County Attorney Patricia Stevens filed a motion to seal the paperwork, which was granted.

After Saucedo was booked in Romero's death, investigators examined an avalanche of evidence - surveillance video, witness statements, and ballistics - looking for links to the other unsolved shootings. Saucedo only knew Romero, who was the first victim in the shooting spree, and police said they don't know what motivated the killings.

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

He was taken in to custody on April 19 on suspicion of killing his mother's boyfriend in 2015.

"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.


Police said would give out a $75,000 reward offered for tips to help solve the case, but declined to say whether the money would go to one person or more people. Authorities investigated him more closely and connected him to the serial killings.

Aaron Saucedo pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on a single murder charge on Friday. Police say that unlike later victims, who appear to have been chosen at random, Romero had a personal connection to Saucedo: At the time he was killed, he was dating Saucedo's mother.

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. All of the killings were random except for the first one, Williams said.

"Our officers did not rest".

The mother of Jesse Olivas, Lydia Lopez, said she had a feeling her son's death was linked to the "serial street shooter". "But my son is not coming back". Every day I would just pass by and touch it and pray, "Lord get him. The pain is the same".

"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. "May God bless (Saucedo), and I'm not anybody to wish bad upon him", she said.

April 1, 2016: A 21-year-old man, Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, was shot and killed in front of a home around 9 p.m.

Police previously said at least seven people were killed and two others wounded over a four-month period a year ago. "The fact of them finding somebody, at least it was some type of news", she said.

A 16-year-old boy wounded while walking in the street at 11:30 p.m. on March 17, 2016.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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