Police said an Arizona man went a Memorial Day weekend shooting spree, killing four and wounding another, because he was upset with people who use drugs. File Photo by Andrew Martin
May 29 (UPI) -- A 20-year-old Arizona man has been arrested and charged with killing four people and injuring another during a holiday weekend crime spree, authorities confirmed Monday.
Officers located Iren Byers Sunday afternoon and took him into custody, Mesa, Ariz., police announced in a statement to media outlets.
Court documents show Byers is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.
Byers admitted to the shootings during questioning, Mesa Police Detective Brandi George said.
The shooting spree began Friday afternoon in Phoenix, with the last victim located in Mesa around 2 a.m. Saturday -- a period of less than 12 hours.
Police first responded to a 911 call of shots fired around 3:40 p.m. Friday in downtown Phoenix, just blocks from a school and not far from the city's children's hospital.
A 41-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.
The second call came in around 10:30 p.m. in the Beverly Park neighborhood in northwest Mesa, where officers located a second 41-year-old victim who had died from gunshot wounds.
They heard further gunfire while still at that scene and shortly after midnight located a 36-year-old woman nearby who had also been shot. The woman was taken to the hospital underwent surgery and was in stable condition early Sunday.
Two more deadly shootings unfolded before the sun came up.
Officers were called around 1 a.m. where they found another 41-year-old man that had died from his injuries.
Around an hour later, investigators found the final victim, a 40-year-old man who was also killed by gunfire.
The charging documents show investigators have preliminarily matched the same 9mm handgun to all five shootings using shell casings. Police said they later recovered the gun at Byers' residence along with other evidence.
Investigators said they identified Byers using surveillance video collected from public transit, as well as a home and businesses. The man seen in all of the videos was wearing the same clothing.
Investigators said Byers is cooperating while in police custody, telling them that in each of the five slayings he did not call for medical help because he believed his victims "did not deserve it."
Authorities said most of the victims were homeless and that Byers was angry toward people who used drugs.