Suspect in 4 of 11 Phoenix freeway shootings charged

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Suspect in 4 of 11 Phoenix Freeway Shootings Charged.

PHOENIX — Prosecutors announced formal charges Wednesday against a 21-year-old man suspected in some of the freeway shootings that have rattled the Phoenix area. Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. was charged with 16 counts, including aggravated assault, unlawful discharge of a weapon, disorderly conduct, endangerment and carrying out a drive-by shooting. But prosecutors did not file terrorism charges that police originally sought against the landscaper arrested Friday night at a suburban Phoenix Wal-Mart. Using ballistics tests, detectives tied Merritt to four of the 11 shootings reported on Phoenix-area freeways, Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead said.

Only one person was injured in the shootings: On Aug. 29, a bullet pierced the windshield of an SUV on Interstate 10, and the broken glass slightly cut a 13-year-old passenger. Investigators say eight cars were hit with bullets and three were struck with projectiles such as BBs or pellets, most while driving along Interstate 10 in metropolitan Phoenix.

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