UK & World News

  • 27 August 2014, 12:51

'Serial Killer' Held After Seven Shot In LA

An man initially arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty has been accused of being a prolific serial killer in Los Angeles.

Alexander Hernandez has been charged with last Thursday's murder of Gildardo Morales, a pickup truck driver, in San Fernando.

The 34-year-old is also the sole suspect in a shooting on Sunday, where three people were killed - apparently at random - in the space of an hour.

However, police are yet to charge him with their deaths.

The alleged killing spree began last Wednesday, when a woman and a couple were left critically injured after being fired at in separate incidents.

There is no known connection between the victims, but a 70-strong task force in the LAPDlinked the attacks after similar descriptions were made about the weapon and getaway vehicle used.

In a press conference, Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said Hernandez, from Sylmar, had been uncooperative since being taken into custody on Sunday evening.

When he was arrested, he had a pistol-grip shotgun in his possession which police believe may have been used in the attacks.

Even though Hernandez has only been charged in one of the killings, Chief of Detectives Bill McSweeneyclaimed the man "is and was a serial killer".

Investigators also claimed they were confident they had the right suspect in custody, telling the public they were no longer at risk.

Prosecutors have charged Hernandez with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and three counts of animal cruelty, as it is believed he also shot two dogs dead during his five-day spree.

He is due to be formally charged later today and remains on $1m (600,000) bail. But as the charges against Hernandez could result in the death penalty, prosecutors plan to request that he is held without bail.

Investigators are now revisiting unsolved shootings in recent years, especially those involving similar descriptions of a shotgun and a gold-coloured SUV.

Hernandez has four prior convictions, some of which involved prison time. They included sentences for the possession of firearms and methamphetamine.

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