'Person of interest' in I-10 shootings released

Posted at 8:05 PM, Sep 18, 2015

A judge ordered the only person detained in connection with the Arizona freeway shootings investigation to be released on Friday.

Oscar de la Torre Munoz, 19, was detained on Sept. 11 in a quick undercover operation outside a gas station. Authorities have never called Munoz a suspect only referring to him as a "person of interest" related to the investigation.

A spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office said a police report had not been submitted by DPS related to the marijuana possession so they could not revoke probation.

SPECIAL SECTION: Latest on the investigation into the freeway shootings

At a Friday morning media briefing with reporters, DPS spokesman Bart Graves said the agency "still [has] an interest in him [Munoz], but couldn't call him a suspect, noting that he has never been considered the "prime suspect."

There have been 11 confirmed shooting incidents along Interstate 10 and Interstate 17 since August 29. There have been no new cases since September 10.

Troopers have responded to multiple reports of damaged vehicles and broken glass along the freeways, but most have been caused by road debris, according to DPS, and not linked to the freeway shootings.

Graves reiterated that the 11 total shootings fall under three scenarios: the five shooting incidents between August 29-31, the two shooting incidents that happened the weekend before Labor Day, and the four incidents that happened the following week.

In total, eight incidents involved a bullet and three involved a projectile. DPS said the word projectile means the cause of the damage in that case is still being investigated.

LIST: Where the confirmed shootings have happened

Authorities have increased the reward for information leading to the arrest of the shooter, or shooters, to $50,000. 

TIP LINES: Contact DPS at 644-5803 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

DPS has received about 1,000 tips from the community and are actively investigating 550 of them.

They have passed out thousands of fliers about the case to nearby neighborhoods and have placed 16 digital billboards along the freeways and provides. ADOT has placed alerts on their electronic signs that hang over the freeways.

Stay with, ABC15 Mobile and ABC15 News for the latest on the investigation.