Police have arrested a 20-year-old man in a string of deadly shootings that began in Phoenix and ended Saturday in Mesa.
Iren Byers, 20, was booked into jail for four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder, Mesa police said Sunday morning.
The department preliminarily linked Byers to a Phoenix homicide that occurred on Friday afternoon, prior to the Mesa slayings, authorities said.
The four Mesa shootings occurred the night of May 26 and continued into the early morning hours of May 27. They left three dead and sent one person to a hospital.
On Sunday night, Mesa police released the names of the victims and the locations of the city shootings.
Killed were Julian Cox, 41, 115 N. Beverly; Stephen Young, 41, 200 S. Country Club; and John Swain, 40, 200 S. Extension. Injured was Angela Fonseca, 36, Stewart and Main streets.
"Our Mesa community grieves for the victims and mourns with their loved ones,” Mayor John Giles said in a statement. "This is a tragedy felt throughout the city. Mesa residents deserve a safe and peaceful city. Unfortunately, incidents like this are all too common in large and small cities throughout the country."
Byers was an investigative lead, police said, and was detained as he was “believed to be solely responsible for all four shootings,” police said in a release.
Using the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, officers were able to preliminarily link at least one spent shell casing from most of the shooting scenes to the same handgun, a 9mm, police said.
They also found a match to a shell casing that was used in a Phoenix homicide about 2:45 p.m. May 26.
During the investigation, officers viewed video footage from various sources near the shootings, including light rail, a Circle K and a home equipped with a camera.
Byers was seen in all the videos, police said, and he wore the same clothes as reported by witnesses at the time of the shootings.
Byers was found near 118 N. Extension in Mesa and taken into custody for a misdemeanor charge of trespassing, according to police.
“He was cooperative with officers from Mesa and Phoenix PD and took responsibility for all five shootings during questioning,” police said in the release.
“Byers told officers where they could find the clothing he wore and the handgun he used during his crime spree, which officers recovered at Byer’s residence, after completion of a search warrant.”
He is being held on no bond.
Giles concluded his statement: “Despite (the) horrific act by one person, Mesa is one of the safest large cities in America and that is due in large part to our excellent police department.”