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Arizona police announce arrest in connection to freeway shootings

Arizona police announce arrest in connection to freeway shootings

Arizona Division of Transportation Are Living Visitors Operations operators reveal over 200 Throughway camera’s all the way through the Phoenix Metro house, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015 in Phoenix.

Picture: Matt York/Associated Press

2015-09-19 03:10:02 UTC

UP TO DATE: Sept. 19, 12:Thirteen a.m. ET

PHOENIX — A suspect has been arrested in a string of shootings alongside Phoenix-house freeways that have saved drivers on edge for weeks, state officers said Friday evening.

Public Security Director Frank Milstead mentioned at a press convention late Friday that The Man who authorities believe is liable for what started the spree is in custody.

A spokesman for Gov. Doug Ducey recognized the suspect as 21-year-previous Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. who used to be caught looking to pawn a handgun, in line with ABC15 in Phoenix. Merritt was once taken into custody around 7 p.m. at a Wal-Mart in Glendale, a suburb west of Phoenix.

“The suspect is in custody since the weapon that he owned is forensically linked to these crimes,” Milstead mentioned At The press convention.

On Account That Aug. 29, there have been Eleven tested shootings of automobiles within the Phoenix area involving bullets or other projectiles. Most passed off alongside Interstate 10, an incredible route throughout the city.

Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio stated a lab diagnosis matched the handgun in question, a 9mm, to 4 Freeway incidents.

On The press conference, Milstead demonstrated that the suspect was connected to the first 4 shootings. Authorities have now not tied the arrest to the additional incidents.

Last week, Milstead noted the crimes as “home terrorism.”

“Anytime that you’ve got a couple of shootings against Americans on a highway, that is terrorism,” he stated. “They Are looking to frighten or kill somebody.”

There had been no serious accidents, though a 13-12 months-outdated woman’s ear was once cut By Way Of glass after a bullet shattered a window of a car she used to be using in.

There has not been a verified Shooting in the case Considering That Sept. 10.

The shootings have triggered a couple of school districts to keep their buses off freeways, and a few motorists have altered their commutes to keep away from driving I-10.

Authorities offered a $50,000 reward for knowledge resulting in an arrest and conviction in the case and likewise distributed lots of fliers in neighborhoods along I-10 to boost awareness about the shootings and the reward, but they have got been tight-lipped about any details in the case.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said state troopers have stepped up patrols, whereas different businesses assisting within the investigation have included Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa police as well as the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“I Feel it can be truthful to claim On Account That per week in the past, we’ve got made headway on this case,” Graves mentioned past Friday.

In The Meantime Friday, a choose ordered the discharge of a 19-yr-outdated man who was once detained at a comfort retailer 9/11 and wondered regarding the shootings. Authorities have declined to provide an explanation for why The Man used to be questioned about the shootings but have stated he was once not a prime suspect.

He was arrested on an alleged probation violation stemming from marijuana discovered in the man’s house during a 9-11 search in keeping with a tip that he was violating probation By Using possessing a gun. The Person had been sentenced to probation on an endangerment conviction for excessive rushing and fleeing from police.

Additional reporting Through Mashable

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