Suspect Arrested in Phoenix Freeway Shootings

'Arizona Republic' IDs suspect as Leslie Allen Merritt Jr., 21
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 18, 2015 10:31 PM CDT
In this Sept. 10, 2015, file photo, a tip line for motorist hangs on a freeway sign along Interstate 10, in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

(Newser) – A suspect has been arrested in a string of shootings along Phoenix-area freeways that have kept drivers on edge for weeks, state officials said tonight. A spokesman for Gov. Doug Ducey said a man was taken into custody around 7pm at a Walmart in Glendale, a suburb west of Phoenix. The Arizona Republic identified the suspect as Leslie Allen Merritt Jr., 21. Officials with the Arizona Department of Public Safety had reportedly monitored him throughout the day. "We got him!" Ducey tweeted. "Great work by Arizona DPS investigators and SWAT team." It is unclear if authorities believe the suspect is responsible for all of the shootings.

Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead said last week that he believes there could be multiple shooters and has previously called the incidents "domestic terrorism crimes." Since Aug. 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 Walmart where the suspect was arrested is 6 miles north of where some of the shootings on I-10 occurred. There has not been a confirmed shooting in the case since Sept. 10. (Read more Arizona stories.)

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