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Arizona man arrested after random shooting spree kills 4 and injures 1

Iren Byers, 20, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and a count of attempted murder after he was spotted on surveillance video at the scenes of the shootings and allegedly confessed.

An Arizona man was arrested after he randomly shot five people Friday and Saturday, killing four and injuring one, police alleged.

Police arrested Iren Byers, 20, on Saturday on four counts of first-degree murder and a count of attempted murder after Mesa police officials saw him on video near the scenes of multiple shootings that occurred Friday and Saturday, police said. One person was killed Friday afternoon in Phoenix, and three were killed and one was injured in Mesa late Friday and early Saturday. Byers confessed to the shootings once he was in custody, police alleged.

The injured victim in Mesa, a 36-year-old woman, was stable and will undergo surgery for serious injuries, said Detective Brandi George, a police spokesperson. Police found her with gunshot wounds around 12:15 a.m. Saturday at Main and Stewart streets.

George said detectives believe that Byers “has a lot of different motives” and that the shootings were random, adding that authorities also “suspect there may be some mental illness there.”

Byers told detectives that he shot the injured woman because “she made him mad” after he began talking to her, the probable cause statement says. It alleges that he shot her in the face and then “shot her another time because she wasn’t dead yet.”

The Phoenix victim, who was killed around 2:45 p.m. Friday, was a man Byers allegedly met around North 24th Street and Thomas Road, according to the probable cause statement. Byers told police he shot the man in the head "because he was abusing fentanyl, which he did not like since [Byers'] brother abused the drug too," the statement says. Byers allegedly told police that the victim "was not armed and was not a threat to him" and that he got on a bus after the killing.

The deceased victims in Mesa, 19 miles southeast of Phoenix, are a 41-year-old man who was found dead around 10:30 p.m. Friday at Beverly Park; another 41-year-old man, who was found dead around 1 a.m. Saturday outside a bus station on South Country Club Road, about a mile southeast of the park; and someone police believe is an adult man whom they found around 2 a.m. Saturday on South Extension Road, less than three-quarters of a mile southeast of Beverly Park, police said in a news release.

The victims haven't been publicly identified.

According to the probable cause statement, Byers told detectives the 41-year-old man found dead in Beverly Park "was talking about blues so he shot him in the head," the probable cause statement says. "Blues" is a nickname for counterfeit opioid pills that contain fentanyl.

Byers shot the 41-year-old man found dead on South Country Club Road in the head because he "wanted to smoke blues" while Byers "wanted to smoke weed," according to the probable cause statement, which adds that the men met riding the light rail transit system.

Byers allegedly told police he shot the person believed to be a man found on South Extension Road in the head after they met walking on the railroad tracks because "he was homeless and not from around here." When the victim fell down a nearby hill, Byers "followed him to continue shooting him," the probable cause statement alleges.

Byers also told police he didn't call for medical aid for any of the victims because he believed they didn't deserve it, the probable cause statement says.

Officers saw Byers on security video taken from multiple cameras, including a residential Ring camera and a camera on the light rail system, police said. The video depicted Byers “in all the videos, wearing the same clothing as reported by witnesses at the time of the shootings,” police said.

Officers also linked spent shell cases found at "most of the shooting scenes" to the same handgun using the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, a national database run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Police arrested Byers near his Mesa home on a misdemeanor charge of trespassing on railroad tracks, George said.

Once he was in custody, Byers confessed to the shootings during questioning by officers, said Mesa police, who added that he also told officers where they could find the clothes he wore and the handgun he used. Officers later found the items at his residence after they got a search warrant, police said.

Byers was being held without bond, police said. It wasn't immediately clear whether he has a lawyer or how much prison time he could face if he is convicted.