Phoenix, Arizona – Last year, Arizona freeway drivers became terrified after a series of shootings occurred on the interstate 10 and State route 202 in Phoenix. Officers arrested Leslie Merritt Jr., 21, as the alleged shooter, but now the case has been dropped.
A judge has dismissed the case against the alleged shooter for lack of evidence, according to press releases. Merritt Jr, who spent seven months in prison, has been released. Leslie Merritt’s lawyers doubted the ballistic evidence that the state of Arizona had against his client and after a legal move the evidence has been discharged.
The eleven highway shootings occurred between August 27th and September 10th 2015 in the state of Arizona. The shooter pointed and shoot against cars that were harmed, although no person was severely harm an injury was reported by a teenage girl who was cut by broken glass.
BREAKING: We got him! DPS SWAT team is in custody of the individual suspected of I-10 shootings. Apprehended moments ago.
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) September 19, 2015
Arizona police started the investigation and arrested a 21 year old in a SWAT raid, the arrest was informed via Twitter by governor Doug Ducey. Merritt was arrested because police had allegedly linked his 9mm gun to the ballistics in the scene.
The suspect was charged with four counts:
1. Aggravated assault
2. Criminal damage
3. Disorderly conduct
4. Intentional acts of terrorism
The bail set for the suspect was at $1million, while the suspect claimed the police had the wrong person since his gun had been in a pawn shop for the last two months, yet it was proven false according to a statement from local authorities.
After the first charges Merritt had another 15 charges added to his possible sentence, while his father started a lawsuit that is now asking the state of Arizona $10 million for damages.
The people’s response
When the shootings first occurred citizens were terrified of driving the highway, yet after the governor tweeted “We’ve got him” justice was served in Phoenix. So it would be fair to assume that witnesses of the event are not thrilled about the main suspect’s recent release. But after the judge’s decision on Monday Arizona citizens are wondering what will happen with the shooting’s investigation.
Although declarations are yet to be made Jerry Cobb, who is a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s office who prosecuted the suspect, he said that is common for prosecutors to dismiss all charges and then refile them. So there might just be a chance for justice to be done, given that Leslie Merritt Jr. was in fact, the author of the shootings on the Arizona freeway.
Source: Washington Post