Critical timeline in I-10 shootings released

Posted at 10:50 PM, Sep 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-23 01:50:12-04

For the first time since the arrest of the man connected to the Phoenix freeway shootings, the owner of the pawn shop at the center of the investigation is giving a detailed timeline of when Leslie Merritt Junior pawned his gun.

FULL COVERAGE: Phoenix freeway shootings

The 9 mm gun used in the shooting was pawned at least three different times over the last two months. But what sticks out in the timeline is Merritt's last transaction. 

The time the gun was pawned and the timing of the fourth shooting don’t line up.

According to Mo Money Pawn shop owner Eric Baker, Merritt's 9 mm was first pawned July 19, 2015. Merritt got it back on July 24. 

On August 1 2015, Merritt pawned the gun again. He got it back August 22 which put the gun in his possession at the time of the first freeway shooting, August 29.

DPS says ballistics from the first four scenes match Merritt’s gun. But the timeline shows Merritt pawned the gun the same day as the fourth shooting, but four hours before the shooting ever happened.

Authorities say they are aware of the discrepancy in the timeline, but can’t comment because of the investigation. They add they do have a strong case against Merritt.

Baker says the day he came in, Merritt was acting normal.

“It didn’t look like he was rushed. He didn’t look panicked. It was just a regular transaction,” said Baker.

So employees were surprised when DPS showed up on September 17, the day before Merritt was arrested, asking for his gun.

“It’s good they got him off the streets,” said Baker.

This isn’t the first time the pawn shop has played a key role in a high profile serial shooting case.

Baker tells ABC15, investigators got their big break when 2005 serial shooting suspect Dale Hausnercame into his business to pawn jewelry belonging to one of the victims.