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Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Entertainment | By Alexander Flowers

Serial killer suspect went undiscovered for more than a year

Serial killer suspect went undiscovered for more than a year

Authorities said they had initially focused on only seven of the fatal shootings, but police said Monday that they had tied Saucedo to all nine killings, including Romero's.

Phoenix police say ballistics evidence and community tips pointed to Saucedo, who was recently arrested in a 2015 murder case.

The majority of Saucedo's alleged attacks took place past year when seven were shot dead and two others were wounded over a four-month period - March to July - in a predominately Latino neighborhood in the Phoenix area.

There is no known correlation between the victims and the suspect, police said.

The so-called Serial Shooters randomly targeted pedestrians; Dale Hausner killed himself while in prison, and Samuel Dieteman is serving a life sentence.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton commended the Phoenix Police Department for "carefully and methodically" working the case. They had a clear mission: "Get the killer to justice and get it right".

Saucedo was initially arrested last month in connection with the August 2015 shooting death of 61-year-old Raul Romero.

Investigators say they do not know what led the suspect, Aaron Saucedo, 23, to launch his months-long shooting spree.

Howard said a motive had not yet been determined, but police have obtained incriminating statements from Saucedo, who has no criminal record other than a traffic offense. He said he "pointed out some things" that might help police. A Re-Bath representative said Saucedo worked at one of the temp agencies the kitchen and bathroom remodeler uses.

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April 1, 2016: A 21-year-old man, Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, was shot and killed in front of a home around 9 p.m. Records show he was pulled over for allegedly running a red light on October 27, 2015, more than two months after the first shooting.

Saucedo, 23, is accused of carrying out the separate murders which police previously described as the work of a serial killer.

"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.

June 12: Stefanie Ellis, 33, and her 12-year-old daughter, Maleah, shot to death outside their home near 6300 West Berkley Road.

August 16, 2015: A 61-year-old man, Raul Romero, was killed after being shot multiple times in the driveway of his home.

The victim's family said the man was possibly shot in a drive-by shooting, when he was walking back from feeding the homeless that night.

"The fact of them finding somebody, at least it was some type of news", Smith said.

Some residents were apathetic at first but many got involved as the shootings continued, she said.

All but one of the killings took place in a predominantly Latino neighborhood between March and July of 2016. "May God bless (Saucedo), and I'm not anybody to wish bad upon him", she said.

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