By Daina Beth Solomon
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A 34-year-old man who was arrested after shooting two dogs over the weekend is also considered a suspect in three homicides committed within an hour across Los Angeles' sprawling San Fernando Valley, police said on Monday.
Alexander Hernandez of Sylmar was detained on animal cruelty charges after shooting two dogs to death on Saturday, Los Angeles Police spokeswoman Liliana Preciado said.
Hernandez was also a suspect in the fatal shootings of a man in his twenties or thirties, a woman about 50 years old, and a woman in her early twenties whose two family members were also wounded, Preciado said.
Authorities did not immediately release the names of the victims.
Preciado said Hernandez was linked to the three killings because it appeared the same shotgun involved in the murders was used to shoot the dogs.
The suspect may have fired at the victims from a tan or gold SUV with tinted windows driving through a suburb outside of Los Angeles in the pre-dawn hours.
Los Angeles Police captain William Hayes told reporters at a press conference on Sunday evening that Hernandez barricaded himself in his home for an hour on Sunday night, after which a police SWAT team took him into custody.
“You have three grievous incidents, you have horrendous incidents,” Hayes said at the briefing outside Hernandez’s home. “We want to resolve this as quickly as possible.”
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Eric Walsh)