Update: DPS still investigating 11 freeway shootings

Detectives with the Arizona Department of Public Safety are still investigating 11 shooting incidents that date back to Aug. 29.

Drivers should be aware of their surroundings at all time, DPS Media Relations Manager Bart Graves said in a Sept. 10 e-mailed reply to questions.

Silent Witness is offering $20,000 for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for these shooting incidents. The number for Silent Witness is 480-948-6377.

The 11 incidents have been:

  • 11:10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29: a SUV was traveling east on Interstate 10 at 19th avenue and was struck by a bullet.
  • 11:10-11:25 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29: an unoccupied commercial tour bus was traveling west on Interstate 10 between 35th avenue and 67th avenue and was struck by a bullet.
  • 10:15 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29: a passenger car was traveling east on Interstate 10 at the mini-stack (east of 16th street) and was struck by a bullet.
  • 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 30: a passenger car was traveling west on Interstate 10 between Sky Harbor Boulevard and SR 51 and was stuck by a bullet.
  • 4:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 31: a pickup truck was traveling east on Interstate 10 between 24th street and 40th street and was struck by a bullet.
  • 5:50 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 6: a box truck was traveling south on Interstate 17 near Dunlap road and a ladder attached to it was struck by a bullet.
  • 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 6: a passenger car was traveling west on SR 202 between 32nd street and 24th street and was struck by a bullet. This vehicle was involved in an earlier incident with another passenger car.
  • 5:21 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8: a box truck was traveling west on Interstate 10 at 27th avenue and was struck by a projectile.
  • 5:35-5:37 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8: a pickup truck was traveling east on Interstate 10 between 43rd avenue and 35th avenue and was struck by a projectile.
  • 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9: a pickup was traveling east on Interstate 10 near 39th avenue and was struck by a projectile.
  • 9:40 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10: detectives were called to the area of 83rd Avenue and Latham to investigate a hole found in the side of a commercial truck-tractor pulling a semi-trailer. It was determined the hole was caused by a bullet strike. It has not been determined when or at what location the semi-trailer was struck.

“This investigation continues as we work to identify and assist in the prosecution of anyone involved in these series of shootings. We need the ongoing support, vigilance and patience of our community and the media as this is a very complex and ongoing investigation,” stated Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Col. Frank Milstead in a press release.

A ‘person-of-interest,’ Oscar de la Torre Munoz, 19, was taken into custody for questioning on Friday, Sept. 11, and was booked into the 4th avenue jail on unrelated charges, according to a CBS 5 news report.

On Sunday, Sept. 13, three Queen Creek teens were arrested for allegedly shooting at cars with a slingshot. According to authorities, the teens are not connected to the freeway shootings.

DPS Director Frank Milstead said the incidents are copycats and there was nothing linking them to any of the 11 incidents his agency has been investigating, according to a news report by CBS 5.

Anyone with information should contact the Arizona Department of Public Safety by calling 602-644-5805.

Editor’s note: Through partnership Independent Newsmedia is publishing information provided by CBS 5 News.

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