New Arrest Made in Homeless Attacks

          SAN DIEGO (CN) — San Diego police have arrested a man they say is responsible for the violent attacks on homeless San Diegans which left three men dead and two critically injured.
     At a news conference Friday afternoon, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman told reporters she has “complete confidence” that Jon David Guerrero, 39, is the person responsible for attacking homeless men who were sleeping alone late at night and in early morning hours.
     Guerrero is suspected of a crime spree that started over the Fourth of July weekend, but was cut short when police officers arrested another man on July 8 who they thought resembled surveillance footage of a man buying gasoline at a convenience store. The footage was captured shortly before the body of 53-year-old Angelo De Nardo was found on fire near the train tracks in the Clairemont neighborhood.
     But the first man police arrested — 36-year-old Anthony Padgett — was released from jail Monday shortly before he was supposed to make his first court appearance, after “exculpatory evidence” led investigators back to the drawing board.
     At least two of the victims were set on fire while others were left with severe wounds to their upper bodies which SDPD Capt. David Nisleit declined to disclose details about.
     Nisleit said officers found Guerrero at around 5:45 a.m., shortly after reports came in of another man attacked downtown on Friday morning. The name of the victim was not released, but he remains in critical condition, according to Nisleit.
     Evidence found at the scene and at Guerrero’s downtown home connected the cases, Nisleit said. He declined to identify which officer arrested Guerrero, calling it a “team effort.”
     San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer called Guerrero a “disturbed murderer” and said the public outcry over the targeting of homeless residents was “a testament to how San Diegans react in times of crisis.” He also said he wants the conversation about homelessness to continue so San Diego can tackle the growing problem.
     Nisleit said it was too early to speculate on what Guerrero’s motive for the killings and attacks was.
     Guerrero faces three charges of first degree murder, two charges of attempted murder and two arson charges. He is being held without bail, according to jail records.
     While Nisleit said investigators are “confident” that Guerrero acted alone, they are still working to determine if he knew any of the victims or had links to them in any way. The police department received hundreds of tips over the past two weeks and dedicated extra resources across multiple agencies to find the attacker, Nisleit said.
     Guerrero is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon.

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