A man in custody in Los Angeles is a serial killer who is suspected of randomly shooting seven people, leaving four dead, over five days in the area, authorities said.
A police spokesman said the three other victims were critically injured and two dogs were also shot and killed before the arrest of Alexander Hernandez, 34, on Sunday. He had a pistol-grip shotgun in his possession that police believe was used in the attacks.
Prosecutors have charged Hernandez with one count of capital murder, two counts of attempted murder and three counts of animal cruelty. He's scheduled to be arraigned and remains held on US$1 million bail.
The shootings began early on August 20 when a woman was shot and wounded in a car as she exited a freeway. The other shootings occurred over four straight days, leading to the killing of three people on Sunday.
Hernandez has only been charged in connection with one of the killings. Still, Los Angeles County sheriff's chief of detectives Bill McSweeney said he "is and was a serial killer".
Authorities said the shootings appeared random and there was no known link between the victims or motives.
Police say Hernandez killed three people within an hour on Sunday. He has not been charged in connection with those deaths, but investigators are confident they have the man who did it in custody and the public is no longer at risk. The charges carry a potential death penalty.More on this: