We Got Him! Alleged Arizona Freeway Shooter is Arrested [Video]

We Got Him! Alleged Arizona Freeway Shooter is Arrested [Video]

Arizona police say they have arrested the man who committed the first four of eleven random incidents where cars on freeways around Phoenix have been hit by bullets and other projectiles. I hope they are right, but there are still a lot of questions here. They say the other attacks are copycat incidents. The police accused some kids of sling-shotting rocks that hit cars, but the kids are denying it. Kids lie, but who knows? They have forensically tied the gun the young man was pawning to the first four shootings. How did they do that? Do they have the bullets? It just seems strange to me that there were eleven incidents and he can only be tied to four of them. Having said that, I hope this is over. It was only a matter of time until someone got killed.

Arizona Shooter

From Fox News:

Arizona authorities arrested a man Friday for a string of freeway shootings in Phoenix, adding that they had “forensically linked” the man’s gun to four of the 11 cars hit.

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Leslie Allen Merritt Jr., 21, was arrested at a Glendale Wal-Mart at about 7 p.m., said Daniel Scarpinato, a spokesman for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Glendale is a suburb located west of Phoenix.

Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead announced the arrest at a news conference two hours after Merritt had been apprehended. Merritt hadn’t been formally charged as of early Saturday.

Milstead said the suspect was arrested in the first four shootings, which took place on Aug. 29 and 30. The agency says the suspect faces an array of charges that include criminal endangerment, assault and unlawful discharge of a firearm. Four of the shootings Merritt allegedly committed hit a tour bus, SUV and two cars on a stretch of Interstate 10 in Phoenix No one has been injured.

The Arizona Republic reported that Leslie Merritt Sr., the man’s father, was physically ill after hearing about his son’s arrest. Merritt told the Associated Press he believes his son is being used as a scapegoat by police who were desperate to make an arrest under immense pressure.

“He has way too much value for human life to even take the slightest or remotest risk of actually injuring someone,” he said of his son.

Leslie Allen Merritt Jr.’s Facebook page, confirmed to the Associated Press by his father, indicated that he worked as a landscaper and was a gun enthusiast, but there wasn’t any indication as to why he might have been shooting at cars on the freeway. It wasn’t clear who was responsible for the other reported shootings.

“Are there others out there? Are there copycats? That is possible,” Milstead said, adding that the investigation continues.

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who received updates about the arrest from the police department, said the arrest was made after the suspect tried to pawn the gun used in the shootings.

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

Brandon Copeland told the Associated Press he witnessed the arrest of the suspect while shopping at the Wal-Mart. He said he was struck at the military-style response as officers stormed the crowded store with semiautomatic weapons and came out with the man in handcuffs.

“My girl goes maybe we should leave, and I’m thinking we should leave. And as soon as she says that, like five, six unmarked units just rolled up with blue and reds flashing everywhere,” he said.

Fox 10 Phoenix also reported police were seen impounding a dark grey Saturn from the Wal-Mart parking lot and that one other woman was in custody. However, it was unclear what she was questioned about.

Since Aug. 29, there have been 11 confirmed shootings of vehicles in the Phoenix area involving bullets or other projectiles. Most of the shootings occurred along a stretch of Interstate 10, a major route through the city. There hasn’t been a confirmed shooting since Sept. 10.

Though there have been no serious injuries, a 13-year-old girl’s ear was cut after a bullet shattered a window of a vehicle she was riding in.

The shootings have kept the city on edge and prompted several school districts to keep their buses off freeways and even altered some motorists’ commutes to avoid I-10.

Authorities have offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case and also distributed thousands of fliers in communities along the freeway to raise awareness about the shootings and the reward.

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 spokesman Bart Graves said earlier Friday.

[…]

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.

You’ll see in the video that the kid’s dad is not helping his case. He’s real classy. It will be interesting to see how this develops and what the reasoning of the kid was and what led the cops to arrest him. They must have some pretty damning evidence to take a SWAT team into Walmart to get their man. Someone probably ratted him out for the $50,000. Everyone was living in fear over this maniac. I just really hope there was not more than one shooter and they got the right guy. They just couldn’t resist throwing in that he was a gun enthusiast and the fact that he is white must thrill the media to death. Commenters from the area are claiming he was a liberal. It wouldn’t surprise me, but I guess we’ll see.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at NoisyRoom.net. She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - trevorloudon.com. She also does research at KeyWiki.org. You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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