For over a year, serial killing suspect went undiscovered

Aaron Saucedo a 23 year old Phoenix, Arizona man has been charged with the murders of nine individuals, all of whom were killed last year.

The latest incident occurred on July 11, when a gunman shot a vehicle occupied by a 21-year-old man and 4-year-old boy in a residential neighborhood.

The shooter stalked victims after dark, picking people who were either outside their homes or sitting in cars, police said.

"Today is a good day in the city of Phoenix", said Mayor Greg Stanton, praising the law enforcement task force that hunted the shooter for almost a year. "They had a clear mission. bring the killer to justice and get it right".

Saucedo has been in custody several weeks on charges he killed his mother's boyfriend in August 2015, Police Sgt. Jon Howard said.

While Monday's news puts to rest one mystery, another remains: The authorities said they were still investigating a series of shootings along highways in the Phoenix area that they said appeared to have no connection to the Saucedo case.

Investigators initially believed a serial shooter was responsible for seven deaths a year ago, but in recent weeks they determined two other victims were also shot by the same gunman, who they believe to be Saucedo, including the victim killed in August 2015.

The killing rampage continued until June, when Saucedo allegedly fatally shot three people. Saucedo has been booked on an additional 26 felony counts including homicide.

"This case plagued our community for more than a year. and left behind a trail of victims that included mothers, sons, brothers, sisters and families still mourning the loss of their loved ones", Williams said.

"This is a good day in the city of Phoenix", Stanton said.

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He ended up with a black eye and had to have three stitches in his cheek. I was knocked out for a second or so and there was blood everywhere.

Police said the investigation is still ongoing.

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

The city's fear peaked because most of the killings came in a cluster, with seven people slain in a two-and-a-half-month period last spring.

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.

"I had a gut feeling it was him", she told the Republic.

"I'm glad they finally got — hopefully — the person that's responsible", Cortes said.

Police arrested Saucdeo in that case after finding a pistol he'd sold at a pawn shop and matching it to evidence found at the crime scene, court documents said.

The case turned deadly four days later when Romero was murdered in front of his home and the killing resumed in January 2016 when a 22-year-old man was fatally shot in front of his home. "Today we are closer to providing them the justice they deserve", Williams said.

Manuel Castro Garcia, Horacio De Jesus Pena and Diego Verdugo Sanchez all victims of recent Maryvale drive-by-shootings in Phoenix.

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