- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 10, 2015

Another car was confirmed as having been struck by a projectile on an Arizona freeway Thursday morning after 10 other motorists reported similar incidents in recent weeks, in a series of attacks being labeled as “domestic terrorism.”

The man whose car windows were damaged in the incident said he thinks his car was shot with a BB gun, and that a trooper told him it “definitely wasn’t debris.”

At least four other incidents were reported to police Thursday, as the Phoenix-area public is increasingly on edge, flooding hotlines and social media with tips on the attacks. But police would only confirm one Thursday as a projectile attack.

Of the 11 confirmed attacks so far, eight involved hits by bullets and three by “projectiles” such as BBs and pellets, according to state police.

The shootings, mostly on Interstate 10 in the Phoenix area, started Aug. 29, when a bullet struck an SUV, shattering glass and injuring a 13-year-old girl’s face. Later that day along the same stretch of road, gunshots were fired at a bus, which was empty except for the driver, who was not injured. Bullet holes were found in some of the seats of the empty bus.

Another car was hit later that night about 10 p.m. No injuries were reported in that incident.


SEE ALSO: Marine report finds women get injured more frequently, shoot less accurately than men


By Tuesday, there had been six more similar incidents, but no arrests or suspects.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is being assisted by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, local police and undercover law enforcement officers.

During a press conference earlier this week, Col. Frank Milstead of the Arizona Department of Public Safety called the attacks “domestic terrorism” and offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the “person or persons” responsible.

“Anytime you have multiple shootings against American citizens on a highway, that’s terrorism,” he said. “They’re trying to frighten or kill somebody I don’t know if this is a copycat crime, if it’s multiple people that’s involved in this type of insanity. Because somebody will get hurt, somebody will get killed.:

On Wednesday, another vehicle, a white truck, was reportedly shot at on the same eight-mile-long stretch of I-10. No one was hurt.

Col. Milstead was hesitant to compare the incidents to the Washington Beltway sniper attacks of 2002, during which 10 people were targeted and killed before John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were apprehended.

The Washington shootings took place over a wider area and victims were targeted while they were standing outside of stores or service stations or mowing a lawn. Col. Milstead believes “a number of different weapons” have been used in the Arizona cases, unlike the Beltway shootings.

Police said they cannot confirm if all of the incidents on I-10 are in fact connected, though some clearly were, Col. Milstead said. The attacks don’t fit any discernible pattern so far, in terms of targets, time of day, or anything else besides the interstate.

He advised motorists driving that stretch of highway to be vigilant, adding “under these circumstances be hyper-vigilant.” Phoenix area residents were taking that advice.

Ron Freeman, who works at a truck stop near Interstate 10, told his wife and family to stay off the freeway for now.

“It’s kind of spooky, man, when people can’t drive up and down the interstate unless they’re getting shot at, but this is pretty dang scary,” he said to The Associated Press.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide