‘Serial street shooter’, who terrorized Latino community for a year after tip from the public in police custody
Aaron Saucedo allegedly shot and killed nine people between January 2015 and July 2016
Police in Phoenix AZ, arrested Saucedo, 23, in April for the January 2015 killing of 61-year-old Raul Romero
Romero was dating the killer’s mother before he was found shot dead at home
Phoenix detectives were led to him by a tip from a member of the public, but after his arrest, cops linked Saucedo to eight other random killings in 2016, all carried out by a gunman in a car
Authorities are trying to establish the connection between Saucedo and his victims
Aaron Saucedo arrested after one-year man hunt
Aaron Saucedo is accused of carrying out the separate slayings which police previously described as the work of a serial killer. Saucedo was taken in to custody on April 19 on suspicion of killing his mother’s 61-year-old boyfriend Raul Romero, in 2015. A tip from a member of the public led to his being charged subsequently, with eight otherunsolved homicides, police revealed on Monday.
At a press conference announcing his arrest, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams [photo] said the arrest brought the families of the nine people killed ‘closer to justice’.
‘Our hearts go out to the surviving families. Today we are closer to providing them the justice they deserve.’
Roll call of victims
Raul Romero, 61, killed in 2015
Jesse Olivas, 22, killed in January 2016
Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, 21, killed on April 1, 2016
Krystal Annette White, 55, killed on April 19, 2016
Horacio De Jesus Pena, 32, killed on June 3, 2016
Manuel Castro Garcia, 19, was killed on June 10, 2016
Maleah Ellis, 12, killed on June 12, 2016
Stefanie Ellis, 33, killed on June 12, 2016
Angela Linner, 31, killed on June 12, 2016
Police have been working to solve the killings for more than a year. During their hunt, they began referring to the suspect as the ‘serial street shooter’. The apparently ‘random’ shootings occurred between March and July last year, seven people were killed by the shooterr who reportedly opened fire on pedestrians and cars in areas of west Phoenix.
The gunman committed the murders while driving one of a handful of cars including a black BMW 5-series and a white Cadillac.
Detectives produced sketches based on statements provided by witnesses and survivors and police stumped up a $75,000 reward for information which lead to his capture. With no useful information coming in, the killer went unchecked for another full year.
Saucedo allegedly kicked off his spree by killing his mother’s boyfriend Raul Romero, [left], in 2015. He followed up with shooting Jesse Olivas in January 2016 then Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, on April 1, 2016
Krystal Annette White [left] was shot on April 19. Horacio De Jesus Pena [center], was murdered on June 3 and Manuel Castro Garcia [right] was killed a week later on June 10
Investigators came up with this sketch [right] of the suspect based on witness statements
Romero was killed in August 2015 at an apartment complex. He was dating Saucedo’s mother at the time.
Police honed in on the 23-year-old after learning that he owned a 9mm handgun at the time of the killing. He pawned it days after Romero’s death.
The next victim after Romero was 22-year-old Jesse Olivas who was shot dead on January 1, 2016.
He was found outside a home with multiple gunshot wounds and died in hospital.
The next killing came on April 1. Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, 21, was shot outside a home at around 9pm.
Next came the death of Krystal Annette White, a 55-year-old who was gunned down in the street at 4.30am on April 19.
Last known set of victims: Saucedo shot and killed Stefanie Ellis, her daughter Maleah Ellis and Stefanie’s friend Angela Linner, on June 12, 2016
On June 2, 32-year-old Horacio De Jesus Pena was shot while he stood outside a home shortly before 10pm. 19-year-old Manuel Castro Garcia was gunned down on June 10 at 9.30pm while he stood outside a different house.
Saucedo allegedly escalated to multiple homicide 2 days later. On june 12, 33-year-old Stefanie Ellis, her 12-year-old daughter Maleah and 31-year-old friend Angela Linner were gunned down in the street at 3am.
Several others were injured in separate incidents when the gunman opened fire in residential areas.
The police offer of $75,000 reward for information which could lead to the serial killer’s arrest, did not immediately lead to his arrest. The WANTED poster even shared a photograph of the black BMW witnesses saw him driving
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams addressed the press on the capture of the serial killer on Monday
Greg Stanton revealed on Monday that a tip from the public identified Saucedo as the serial street shooter, the Phonix Mayor added: “When it became apparent there was a serial shooter terrorizing our communities, our investigators did not rest. They worked every lead to bring this killer to justice.
“I am grateful for the active citizens who helped this case. Those tips led directly to where we are today. It is our residents and our law enforcement working together that has helped put a community at ease.'”
Chief Williams added: ‘This case plagued our community for more than a year and left behind a trail of victims that included mothers, sons, sister, brothers, sisters.’