Arizona Sheriffs Say they Have Serial Shooter, Doubts Remain

Aaron Juan Saucedo, 23, was charged with the deaths of the people and numerous other felony charges, said Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams.

But he is alleged to have been involved in a total of 12 shootings.

All of the other slayings occurred in Latino neighborhoods between March and July of 2016.

The hunt for the killer yielded more than 30,000 tips, and authorities said it was a tipster who provided the break in the case.

"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.

Aaron Saucedo, 23, was arrested last month in connection with killing nine people in the city since August 2015.

"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 in a press conference.

Other victims cops believe were killed by Saucedo are Diego Verdugo-Sanchez and Krystal White, who were both gunned down in April of a year ago; and Horacio De Jesus Peña and Manuel Castro Garcia, who were fatally shot last June.

"They didn't look for him at all".

Marina Smith was seven months pregnant last year when her partner, 21-year-old Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, was gunned down. In addition to Romero's murder, he was charged with the seven homicides that made up the original pattern, and a ninth slaying that had not previously been linked to the serial murders - the fatal shooting of Jesse Olivas, 22, on January 1, 2016.

Several months passed before another victim was felled by gunfire.

Investigators received a tip-off from the community and analysed surveillance videos, evidence from the crime scene and witness statements, which eventually led them to link Saucedo to the string of deadly attacks.

In court records from Saucedo's initial arrest April 19, Saucedo reported that he was employed full time working in "labor" at a company called Re-Bath.

Police say they have not identified a motive but believe he acted alone.

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

June 12: Stefanie Ellis, 33, and her 12-year-old daughter, Maleah, shot to death outside their home near 6300 West Berkley Road. Records show Saucedo was pulled over for allegedly running a red light on October 27, 2015, just a month after the first killing. "May God bless (Saucedo), and I'm not anybody to wish bad upon him", she said. She said he was never a trouble-maker and preferred playing basketball with friends over partying.

"I'm happy my kids are going to be able to walk outside", she said, "and I won't have to fear that they're going to get shot".

- Jessie Olivas, 22, was shot and killed on Jan 1, 2016 while standing in front of his home in a drive-by shooting.

The last confirmed attack of the suspect was on 11 July, when he shot at a vehicle with a 21-year-old man and four-year-old boy inside it, although both escaped the attack unharmed.

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