Oscar De La Torre Munoz, Arizona Highway Shootings Suspect: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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(Arizona Department of Public Safety)

Oscar De La Torre Munoz was arrested and named as a “person of interest” by the Arizona Department of Public Safety in the string of highway shootings on Interstate 10 that have been called a case of “domestic terrorism.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. He’s a ‘Person of Interest’

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(ABC15)

Munoz, 19, of Avondale, Arizona and an unidentified woman who may have been his mother were arrested in a convenience store near Interstate 10, where the 11+ shootings have taken place.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said Munoz was only a “person of interest” and did not immediately name him as a suspect in the shootings. According to ABC 15, DPS spokesman Bart Graves, “said earlier Friday that investigators were questioning De La Torre Munoz ‘about a number of things’ besides the freeway shootings, but declined to disclose what that entailed.”


2. He Was Booked for Marijuana Possession

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(Arizona Department of Public Safety)

According to Arizona Central News, Munoz “was being held at Fourth Avenue Jail on suspicion of marijuana possession.”

Police also seized his white Chevrolet Tahoe.


3. He Complained About Police Aggression

According to ABC15:

De La Torre Munoz who was later questioned for hours by authorities complained that officers had been aggressive with him, aggravating his back injury. Speaking from the back of a squad car after being apprehended, he said officers surrounded him and his mother, guns drawn, after he bought a pack of cigarettes and a drink.


4. Police Are Not Sure That All the Incidents Are Connected

Police have not yet said if all the shooting incidents are connected. The Department of Public Safety said different weapons have been used, and the circumstances surrounding the shootings have not been the same.

Below is a full list of the shootings, from the Department of Public Safety:

  • Saturday, August 29, 2015, at 11:10 a.m.: A SUV was traveling east on Interstate 10 at 19th Avenue and was struck by a bullet.
  • Saturday, August 29, 2015, between 11:10 a.m. and 11:25 a.m.: An unoccupied commercial tour bus was traveling west on Interstate 10 between 35th Avenue and 67th Avenue and was struck by a bullet.
  • Saturday, August 29, 2015, at 10:15 p.m.: A passenger car was traveling east on Interstate 10 at the mini-stack (east of 16th Street) and was struck by a bullet.
  • Sunday, August 30, 2015, at 9:45 p.m.: A passenger car was traveling west on Interstate 10 between Sky Harbor Boulevard and SR 51 and was stuck by a bullet.
  • Monday, August 31, 2015, at 4:30 a.m.: a pickup truck was traveling east on Interstate 10 between 24th Street and 40th Street and was struck by a bullet.
  • Sunday, September 6, 2015, at 5:50 p.m.: A box truck was traveling south on Interstate 17 near Dunlap Road and a ladder attached to it was struck by a bullet.
  • Sunday, September 6, 2015, at 8:30 p.m.: A passenger car was traveling west on SR 202 between 32nd Street and 24th Street and was struck by a bullet. This vehicle was involved in an earlier incident with another passenger car.
  • Tuesday, September 8, 2015, at 5:21 a.m.: A box truck was traveling west on Interstate 10 at 27th Avenue and was struck by a projectile.
  • Tuesday, September 8, 2015, between 5:35 a.m. and 5:37 a.m.: A pickup truck was traveling east on Interstate 10 between 43rd Avenue and 35th Avenue and was struck by a projectile.
  • Wednesday, September 09, 2015, at 10:45 a.m.: A pickup was traveling east on Interstate 10 near 39th Avenue and was struck by a projectile.

5. The Shootings Have Brought Back Memories of the Phoenix ‘Serial Shooter’

The shootings have brought back memories for Phoenix residents of the “Serial Shooter” spree in 2005. In that case, two men, Dale Hausner and Samuel Dieterman, killed eight people in drive-by shootings over 15 months.

Hausner was sentenced to death and later died in prison, while Dieterman is serving a life sentence.

The shootings have also drawn comparisons to the 2002 Beltway sniper in the Washington, D.C., area, though police said in that case, the gunmen were targeting people, not vehicles.

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