Aaron Juan Saucedo’s name first came to the attention of Phoenix police three weeks after they released a composite sketch of the suspect in the Serial Street Shooter case.
Two work colleagues told police in August 2016 that Saucedo worked at a local business and resembled the sketch, according to court records unsealed Friday.
The tipsters told police Saucedo had been driving a black 5-series BMW like the one seen by witnesses to some of the shootings, but had stopped, according to the records. He also started growing facial hair, they said.
Other court records suggest he later changed jobs and became a laborer.
Three days before Christmas, police interrogated Saucedo, whom they then considered a person of interest in the case. Police focused on a 9 mm handgun they traced to nine of 11 shootings they then believed were the act of the Serial Street Shooter. A 12th shooting, a murder, has since been added to the string of attacks that police say Saucedo committed.
During that interview, records say, Saucedo admitted owning a 9 mm handgun, which he’d bought from a pawn shop, but told detectives the weapon had been stolen from his car. He only filed a police report of the theft after the interview, court records show.
The records lay out why police think they have enough evidence to hold Saucedo in the killings of nine people. If convicted, Saucedo would be deadliest serial killer in Arizona history, along with Mark Goudeau, the convicted Baseline Killer.
Police have linked shell casings found at crime scenes, bullets recovered in autopsies, and casings found in two cars driven by Saucedo to ammunition and three guns owned by the suspect, according to court documents. In court Wednesday, prosecutors said they had 5,000 pages of records and 96 CDs full of evidence in the case.
The first weapon was a 9 mm Hi-Point pistol. Police say he bought it on July 2, 2015. On August 12, police recovered 9 mm casings from a house on Colter Street, where a screen door and an antique dresser had been shot up.
Four days later, 9 mm casings were also found at a homicide scene on East Moreland Street, where Raul Romero, the boyfriend of Saucedo’s mother, lay dead. Saucedo has been formally charged only in Romero’s murder thus far. Saucedo sold the weapon on September 1.
The same day, police say, he bought Bryco Arms .38-cailber pistol.
On January 1, 2016, police recovered .38-caliber shells from the murder scene of 22-year-old Jesse Olivas. Crime analysis later showed the bullets in Olivas’ corpse came from the weapon owned by Saucedo, police said in court documents.
Saucedo’s father confiscated the gun “for safety concerns.” Police later recovered it in search.
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The third weapon was also a 9 mm pistol. Police say Saucedo bought it in February 2016. After that, the shooting spree and murders took off. Police now say they have found casings in the last nine shootings, which took place between March and July 2016. The 9 mm was the same gun Saucedo said was stolen in December.
Police say they also linked Saucedo to two cars used in the shootings. Witnesses and videos describe the shooter driving a black 5-series BMW and a grey four-door 2003 Hyundai Sonata. Saucedo told police he owned both cars at the times they were seen at the shootings, police records show.
When police searched the cars, they found 13 9 mm casings and one .38 casing in the Hyundai, records say. Crime technicians later matched them to the guns used in the shootings. They also searched Saucedo’s black 2001 BMW 504I and found another 9 mm casing. Technicians said the bullets from the final nine shootings came from the same gun.