Police arrest suspect in string of Phoenix freeway shootings

2015-09-19 07:50

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Phoenix - A suspect was arrested on Friday in a string of shootings that have kept drivers on edge for weeks as vehicles were struck with seemingly random gunfire as they drove down Phoenix freeways.

The 21-year-old man was arrested at a Wal-Mart in Glendale, a suburb west of Phoenix at about 19:00, said Daniel Scarpinato, a spokesperson for Governor Doug Ducey.

Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead announced the arrest at a news conference two hours later, saying a suspect was arrested in four of the 11 shootings. He said the investigation continues.

"Are there others out there? Are there copycats? That is possible," Milstead said.

Milstead said the suspect was arrested in the first four shootings, which took place on August 29 and 30. The agency says the man faces a range of charges that include criminal endangerment, assault and unlawful discharge of a firearm. Milstead has previously called the incidents "domestic terrorism crimes."

"We got him!" Ducey tweeted. "Great work by Arizona DPS investigators and SWAT team."

Since August 29, there have been 11 confirmed shootings of vehicles in the Phoenix area involving bullets or other projectiles. Most occurred along Interstate 10, a major route through the city. The Wal-Mart where the suspect was arrested is 9 1/2km north of where some of the shootings on I-10 occurred.

No serious injuries

There have been no serious injuries, though a 13-year-old girl's ear was cut by glass after a bullet shattered a window of a vehicle she was riding in.

There has not been a confirmed shooting in the case since September 10.

The shootings have prompted several school districts to keep their buses off freeways, and some motorists have altered their commutes to avoid driving I-10.

Authorities offered a $50 000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. They distributed thousands of fliers in neighbourhoods along the freeway this week to raise awareness about the shootings and the reward, but they have been tight-lipped about any details in the case.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said state troopers have stepped up patrols, while other agencies assisting in 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 think it's fair to say since a week ago, we've made headway in this case," Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bart Graves said earlier on Friday.

Meanwhile Friday, a judge ordered the release of a 19-year-old man who was detained at a convenience store on September 11 and questioned regarding the shootings. Authorities have declined to explain why the man was questioned about the shootings, but they have said he was not a prime suspect.

He was arrested on an alleged probation violation stemming from marijuana found in the man's house during a September 11 search based on a tip that he was violating probation by possessing a gun. The man had been sentenced to probation on an endangerment conviction for excessive speeding and fleeing from police.

Three young men were arrested and accused of hurling rocks at cars with slingshots in a case that authorities called a copycat to the shootings, but one of the young men denied in jail interviews that was the case.

Read more on:    us  |  us shootings

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.