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Possible serial killer arrested in Houston after manhunt

Last Updated Jul 17, 2018 12:56 PM EDT

HOUSTON -- A man suspected in three fatal shootings has been arrested in Houston. Authorities say 46-year-old Jose Gilberto Rodriguez was taken into custody Tuesday.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez have said Rodriguez is wanted in connection with three killings since Friday. Gonzalez described Rodriguez as a possible serial killer.

Gonzalez told reporters that Rodriguez was arrested after a "brief vehicle pursuit."

A sheriff's deputy responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle around 6:15 a.m., Gonzalez said. While searching the area, the sheriff's deputy saw a vehicle that matched the description of what Rodriguez was believed to be driving, and Rodriguez was in the vehicle.

"It's possible that he was casing the neighborhood in search of his next victim," Gonzalez told reporters.

A chase ensued for around 15 minutes, and Rodriguez was taken into custody without incident at around 7 a.m., Gonzalez said.

A handgun was found in the vehicle, which police say was stolen from one of Rodriguez's victims.

Rodriguez was known to frequent the Cypress Fairbanks area where he was apprehended, Gonzalez said.

"We knew that this was one of the areas that he had targeted before, obviously the proximity to other victims, and so we've been out in high alert out here," the sheriff said.

Rodriguez is suspected in the shooting death of 62-year-old Pamela Johnson in her Cypress-area home Friday. CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reports that Johnson was a widow who liked to read the Bible and surprise neighbors with homemade cookies.

Rodriguez is also suspected in the killing of 28-year-old Allie Barrow inside a mattress store in Houston on Saturday and the fatal shooting of a man inside another mattress store in Houston on Monday.

Rodriguez also is a suspect in the robbery, shooting and wounding of a metro bus driver on Monday and a home invasion robbery on July 9, investigators said.

Gonzalez has said there were "strong indications in each crime" that Rodriguez was involved but declined to elaborate. Authorities have not released further details of the crimes, such as the motive behind each act and whether the victims were randomly chosen.