- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 10, 2015

An eleventh car was reportedly struck by a projectile on an Arizona freeway Thursday morning after 10 other motorists reported similar incidents in recent weeks.

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

But at least four of the previous incidents involved actual gunfire, according to state police.

The shootings on Interstate 10 in Phoenix started Aug. 29, when a bullet struck an SUV, shattering glass and injuring a 13-year-old girl inside the vehicle.

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, The Washington Post reported. 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.

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

During a press conference Tuesday, 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.

“Don’t kid yourselves. This is a very important matter for the department and the traveling public,” he added.

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

Police said they were uncertain whether the incidents all involved bullets, describing some of the vehicles as being hit by “projectiles.”

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.

He advised motorists driving that stretch of highway to be vigilant, adding “under these circumstances be hyper-vigilant.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide