MESA, Ariz. — Mesa Police Department arrested a man in connection with multiple deadly shootings that happened Friday night into Saturday morning.
20-year-old Iren Byers is accused of shooting and killing four separate people, and leaving another in the hospital. Mesa police said that four of the shootings happened in Mesa, and suspect that Byers was involved with a fifth shooting in Phoenix.
During questioning, Byers reportedly claimed responsibility for the shootings and told officers where they could find the clothes he wore as well as the gun he used.
Police recommended four charges of first-degree murder and one charge of attempted first-degree murder. Byers is being held without bail.
The shootings are part of a series of events that began late Friday afternoon and ran into the early morning hours of Saturday morning, according to police.
Around 2:45 p.m. in Phoenix, officers found 41-year-old Nicholas Arnstad deceased next to the canal near 24th and Oak Streets. Officers were able to link a shell casing found at this scene to another one found at the scene of a later shooting.
Just before 10:30 p.m. on May 26, Mesa police officers were dispatched to Beverly Park, near Alma School Road and Main Street, after reports of a dead person. In the park, officers found the body of a 41-year-old man identified as Julian Cox.
While officers were still at the park, they heard gunfire and began to search the area.
That led them to the next victim.
On May 27, at 12:15 a.m. near Stewart and Main Street, officers discovered a 36-year-old woman identified as Angela Fonseca, who had been shot. She was taken to the hospital where she is stable but will have surgery for serious injuries.
At 1 a.m. officers were called to the "All Aboard America!" bus station near Country Club Drive, upon arrival, they found the body of a 41-year-old man.
According to police, “officers saturated the area in search of the suspect and other victims.”
They found another body just after 2 a.m. near 1st Avenue and Extension Road. Police identified the man as 40-year-old John Swain.
According to police, all the victims had been shot. Their names will not be released until next of kin notifications have been made.
Mesa Mayor John Giles released the following statement in response to shootings:
“I am deeply disturbed by the violence in Mesa last night. Our Mesa community grieves for the victims and mourns with their loved ones. 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. Despite last night’s 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. We applaud the Mesa Police Department for its swift response, investigation and quick apprehension of a suspect.”
Police said the investigation into the series of shootings “is very complex and still in the beginning stages.”
They said at this point in the investigation, witnesses are being interviewed and search warrants are being served as detectives continue to look for answers.
Anyone with information should contact the Mesa Police Department at 480-644-2211.
This is a developing story; additional details will be added as they become available.
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