PHOENIX — For more than a year, Phoenix police were stumped by a string of killings in which a shooter stalked victims after dark and gunned them down as they stood outside their homes or sat in their cars. Nine people were killed in all in a case dubbed the Serial Street Shooter.
Police fielded thousands of tips, went door-to-door in a largely Hispanic neighborhood of Phoenix where the shootings happened and analyzed ballistics from a different, unrelated serial shooting case. On Monday, they announced they had arrested a former city bus driver in the killings while providing scant detail about what motivated him or details about how they made a break in the case, other than to credit tips.
Aaron Juan Saucedo, 23, faces 26 felony counts of homicide, aggravated assault and drive-by-shooting for 12 shootings that took place between August 2015 and July 2016, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said.
The investigation into the serial killings had focused on what authorities said were seven fatal shootings. But police on Monday said they had tied Saucedo to nine killings in all — eight random victims and one man that he knew.
Saucedo was a bus driver for the city of Phoenix through a temp agency for several months in July through August 2015, Phoenix police said. Records show Saucedo was pulled over for allegedly running a red light on Oct. 27, 2015, just a month after the first killing.
On Monday, Williams and Mayor Greg Stanton appeared alongside other top officials, including Maricopa County’s top prosecutor, to announce the break in a case that had appeared largely stalled in recent months as leads and tips…