Authorities in Arizona pleaded for information related to a series of unsolved freeway shootings on Monday, more than doubling a reward for any tip that leads to an arrest.
The shootings — there have been 11 in two weeks along Interstate 10 in Phoenix — have been described as domestic terrorism and compared to the sniper attacks in Washington D.C. that left 10 people dead a decade ago.
The announcement Monday that police are offering $50,000 comes just one day after Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told reporters that three 18-year-olds had been charged with a string of copycat crimes: they used slingshots to fire projectiles at more than a dozen cars and people.
And it comes three days after authorities identified a man as a “person of interest” in the shootings. His car was seized and he was apprehended by a swarm of police, according to the Associated Press, but later booked only on unrelated marijuana charges.
“Detectives are working around the clock to apprehend those responsible for these shootings,” said state department of public safety director Col. Frank Milstead, according to a release. “Our office is fully committed to finding those responsible for these senseless crimes and encourage anyone with information to come forward.”
No one has been killed, but a 13-year-old girl was struck by glass after the window of her car was shattered by a bullet.
In eight of the shootings, bullets have been used; in the remaining incidents, vehicles were hit with unspecified projectiles. Milstead said last week that he believes multiple shooters are involved because the "M.O.'s" of the crimes have changed.