A man questioned in a spate of shootings on Interstate 10 near Phoenix isn’t the prime suspect, police said today.Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said Oscar De La Torre Munoz was a person of interest in the shootings but declined to say what led police to detain him. Munoz, 19, was booked into the Maricopa County jail late Friday on an unrelated marijuana possession charge.Munoz, 19, of Avondale, was taken into custody along with his mother Friday morning at a gas station a few miles from I-10, officials said. His mother was later released.”This is an open investigation, and we are going to go where it leads us,” Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said.At least 11 shootings along I-10 have been reported since last month. The scenarios have varied with some involving bullets fired at random cars and others possibly involving BBs or pellets, said investigators.Col. Frank Milstead, director of the state’s Department of Public Safety, classified the incidents as “domestic terrorism,” calling those responsible cowards who put innocent lives at risk.”When I say ‘domestic terrorism,’ I don’t know what else you would call it. When you’re, you know, inflicting terror on a community, what else is it?” he said. “These are bad people trying to do harm to good people.”The shootings dated back to August 29, and all happened along an eight-mile stretch of road, Milstead said.”We have a hard crime to solve because it’s such a large area and there so many different vantage points for someone who wants to do something wrong,” Milstead said.The Associated Press contributed to this report.Get real-time updates as this story unfolds. To start, just “star” this story in ABC News’ phone app. Download ABC News for iPhone here or ABC News for Android here.This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.Read More
A series of shootings over nearly two weeks along highways in the Phoenix area, most involving the same stretch of Interstate 10, has alarmed residents and confounded the police.
The authorities reported another shooting early Thursday involving a tractor-trailer pierced through the side by a bullet, bringing the total number of incidents to 11 since Aug. 29. Eight of those involved bullets, and three involved “projectiles,” officials said.
Only one minor injury has been reported: A 13-year-old girl was cut when a bullet shattered a window of the car she was in.
For many Phoenix-area residents, the incidents have revived troubling memories of the last time their city was terrorized by a string of shootings. In 2006, Dale S. Hausner and Samuel J. Dieteman were arrested and charged with murder after a yearlong series of attacks.
Mr. Hausner, who was sentenced to six death penalties, died in his cell in 2013 after overdosing on antidepressants. Mr. Dieteman is serving a life sentence.
Bart Graves, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, played down the connection, saying the latest shootings are “not even close to being reminiscent of those.”
“That was people randomly being shot and killed on the streets,” he said.
He added that while people in Phoenix were very aware of the shootings, some had asked the department not to publicize them too much because “they didn’t want to create copycats.”
“If he or she is doing it in the middle of the day, it’s a scary situation,” Tim Case, a Department of Public Safety spokesman, told reporters. He said the case was the department’s No. 1 priority.
Gov. Douglas Ducey asked for the public’s help in a Twitter post on Thursday.
Tips have been pouring into the hotline. “They want this solved as we do,” Mr. Graves said.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety, which has partnered in its investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the police departments of Phoenix and Tempe, is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunman or gunmen.
“It is just a matter of time if this behavior continues that we have tragedy on our roadways,” said the department’s head, Col. Frank Milstead.
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