DPS: Pawned gun led police to shooting suspect

Posted at 10:17 PM, Sep 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-20 01:17:48-04

Investigators looking into pawned guns is what led authorities to arrest freeway shootings suspect Leslie Allen Merritt, Jr.

SPECIAL SECTION: Latest on the investigation into the freeway shootings

According to an update from DPS Saturday afternoon, "exhaustive" police and detective work helped track Merritt down Friday night in Glendale.

Watch the full press conference in the video player above.

Investigators reportedly put out a request for pawned guns at all local pawn shops.

After investigating the vehicle damage and determining which bullets were fired toward four cars at the end of August, investigators were able to pinpoint which guns may have been used in the shootings.

DPS says they were able to test-fire the guns in question, which led them to a handgun that had been pawned to Mo Money Pawn Shop in Phoenix by the suspect.

Bullet fragments and other clues reportedly matched the shots fired in four separate freeway shootings.

Bart Graves with DPS says the pawned gun investigation took days and surveillance was conducted for much of Friday leading up to the arrest.

Merritt is the prime suspect in at least four of the shootings that have been forensically linked to the suspect's weapon.

Graves said copycats are still a possibility in the remaining incidents. The $50,000 reward is still available as the investigation remains ongoing.