PHOENIX - Officials have completed testing for the weapon used in a 2015 murder to see if there was any connection to the Phoenix freeway shootings.
Sources tell ABC15’s Christopher Sign, the ballistics analysis between the 2015 murder weapon and freeway shootings bullet fragments came back as “inconclusive”.
The gun in question, a 9mm, was actually in the hands of Arizona Department of Public Safety detectives during the freeway shootings investigation, but the gun was never fully analyzed before it was returned to a pawn shop.
The case against Merritt was dismissed after an independent expert hired by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office analyzed Merritt’s gun with the evidence in the case and stated the results were inconclusive.
DPS had further testing conducted on Merritt’s gun and the freeway shootings ballistic evidence with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The ATF’s results were inconclusive.
DPS recently confirmed to ABC15 that they have "no new information" about the freeway shootings; but clarified that Merritt is still a suspect and they have no other suspects at this time.
Merritt's attorney, Jason Lamm, told ABC15, the findings of the Phoenix Police Crime Lab is further evidence that DPS' opinions about Leslie Merritt's gun are wrong.
Could Saucedo be the so-called freeway shooter?
Analysis conducted on guns owned by Merritt and Saucedo came back as inconclusive when compared to bullet fragments from the freeway shootings case.
The result could simply be interpreted that the guns cannot be ruled in or out as possible matches.
So far, a perfect match appears to elude investigators, or at least a match everyone from detectives to experts to prosecutors can agree on.
So could Saucedo be the so-called freeway shooter? Prior to the Phoenix Police Department testing, DPS told ABC15 they did not believe Saucedo was the freeway shooter.
But the recent testing conducted by Phoenix Police Department detectives leads to more questions. Could Saucedo be connected to the freeway shooter case? Have detectives looked at Saucedo’s movements, including cell phone tracking, to determine if he was near the string of freeway shootings in 2015?
ABC15 reached out to Phoenix police and Gov. Doug Ducey's office for a comment on the latest findings. Phoenix police did not release a statement. A spokesperson for Gov. Ducey said, "we’re going to let law enforcement do their jobs and wait for all the facts."