Man Detained in Arizona Freeway Shootings Not Prime Suspect, Police Say

PHOTO: An Arizona Department of Transportation sign gives a hotline number for information on the recent freeway shootings, Sept. 9, 2015 near Phoenix, Ariz. PlayTraci Carl/AP Photo
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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.

PHOTO: Booking photo of Oscar De La Torre Munoz, 19, who was arrested by the Maricopa County Sherrif’s Office on September 11, 2015. He was considered a person of interest in a spate of shootings on Interstate 10 freeway near Phoenix, police said.Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
Booking photo of Oscar De La Torre Munoz, 19, who was arrested by the Maricopa County Sherrif’s Office on September 11, 2015. He was considered a person of interest in a spate of shootings on Interstate 10 freeway near Phoenix, police 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.

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