After 11 attacks, Arizona police have a suspect but few leads

The head of Arizona's state police has described the 8 shootings and 3 other projectile attacks as 'domestic terrorism.'

Matt York/AP
Arizona Department of Public Safety officers stand near a tractor trailer shot near 67th Ave and I-10, Thursday, in Phoenix. Numerous shootings of vehicles along I-10 over the past two weeks have investigators working around the clock.

A 19-year-old Arizona man, described by authorities as a person of interest in a spate of recent highway shootings, appeared in court on an unrelated charge for possession of illegal substances on Saturday, Reuters is reporting.

The suspect, Oscar De La Torre Munoz, of Avondale, Arizona, is being questioned in connection with an investigation into 11 vehicle shootings that have occurred since August on Phoenix highways. The head of Arizona's state police officials have described these cases as "domestic terrorism" and is still investigating whether they are related.

Mr. De La Torre Munoz and the woman he was with were both detained for questioning, but the woman was soon released. A store clerk, Sara Kaur, told AP that she sold De La Torre Munoz cigarettes before his arrest. She described him as a regular customer and said she's "never had a problem with him."

Only one person has been injured, but the city of Phoenix is still on edge. A message board on the stretch of I-10 where the shootings have occurred asks drivers to send information to a tip line, but most of the tips turned out to be false leads. Muddying the waters, windshields in Arizona are frequently cracked by loose rocks kicked up by other drivers' tires – but anxious drivers are reporting them as attacks.

De La Torre Munoz has denied any involvement in the shootings.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead said Friday that he believes there is more than one shooter involved.

"It does not appear to be the same guy," Mr. Milstead told The Arizona Republic. "I think we have three MOs. We have one that looks like road rage, we have the bullet ones, we have the projectile ones.’’

DPS has confirmed 11 attacks since August 29, including eight vehicles struck by bullets and three struck by unspecified projectiles.

"The investigation is moving forward," DPS spokesman Bart Graves told the Associated Press. "Authorities aren’t concerned about the public growing complacent now that someone has been questioned.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to After 11 attacks, Arizona police have a suspect but few leads
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2015/0912/After-11-attacks-Arizona-police-have-a-suspect-but-few-leads
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe