BEVERLY HILLS—A Beverly Hills man matching the description of an Arizona serial killer wanted in connection with seven murders lead police on a country-wide pursuit through Southern California, ending in a standoff on State Route 91.
A woman tipped of Costa Mesa police on Wednesday, July 13 that a man, matching the description of the Phoenix gunman at large, had a gun and was seen near 19th Street and Newport Boulevard; she provided authorities with a description of the suspect’s vehicle, which was a Subaru Sedan.
The Phoneix gunman, nicknamed, “the serial street shooter,” is described as a thin, or lanky young man, possibly in his early 20s, with dark hair, according to the Phoenix Police Department.
Costa Mesa Police located the suspect, Hector Vasquez, 43, from Beverly Hills, shortly after and tried to pull over his vehicle, but the suspect continued driving.
While Vasquez matched the suspects weight and height description, he is not the man Phoenix police are looking for.
Authorities officially began pursuing Vasquez at approximately 12:45 a.m., on Thursday, July 14. The suspect led police on a chase upwards of 100 miles – onto northbound I-405, to I-605 in Orange County, said Dan Olivas, a California Highway Patrol Officer and spokesman.
The chase continued all the way north onto the 210, then east towards San Bernardino. Vasquez then led police southbound on the 215 Freeway and followed it onto westbound 91 in Riverside. The chase ended at approximately 2 a.m. in a standoff on State Route 91.
Vasquez stopped east of Promenade Avenue, but refused to surrender to authorities remaining inside his vehicle with the driver-side door open. He poked his head out occasionally yelling to officers for more than two hours. A Corona SWAT team was called to the scene.
Vasquez finally exited the vehicle just after 4 a.m. holding a black handgun, which he placed on the ground, picked it back up, and then tossed It onto the eastbound freeways. He was compliant once he exited the vehicle, according to law enforcement officials.
Law enforcement officials believe Vasquez was evading police because he was under the influence of drugs. Police arrested Vasquez at approximately 4:30 a.m. on two felony counts of evading police and brandishing a fire arm, and one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs.
He is being held in jail in Riverside County with a bail set at $100,000; he is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, July 18. The Phoenix Police Department verified to Canyon News that the “serial street shooter” is still at large.
The victims in each of the seven reported homicides had little in common in terms of their physical appearance, age, or gender. The random murders transpired mostly at night in the west Phoenix area, and all of the victims were either in the street, driveway, or car. The last shooting was on June 12, and resulted in the deaths of three women.
“We have been in contact with California authorities and believe these incidents are unrelated,” Phoenix Police Department’s Sgt. Jonathan Howard said.