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(AP and Phoenix Police Department Photos)
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I-10 shootings evidence given to Phoenix police for Serial Street Shooter investigation

(AP and Phoenix Police Department Photos)

PHOENIX — Evidence in a 2015 string of shootings along Interstate 10 has been turned over to Phoenix police for its investigation into the Serial Street Shooter case, it was learned Thursday.

Both the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Phoenix Police Department confirmed that the former turned over all of its evidence from the I-10 shooter case — including DPS’ case against one-time suspect Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. — to the latter.

The materials turned over to police include ballistics evidence.

However, neither agency has publicly said the separate spates of shootings are related.

Last week, Phoenix police said they had a person of interest in the Street Serial Shooter case in custody.

A person of interest is not the same as a suspect.

The Street Serial Shooter has been linked to nine shootings across the Valley that left seven people dead and wounded two others. A reward as high as $75,000 was offered for information in the case.

No one was killed in the I-10 shootings.

The charges against Merritt in the I-10 shootings case were dropped last year.

Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, said at the time that the agency had “identified additional forensic investigation” that needed to be completed for the case to proceed.

DPS Director Frank Milstead said after the charges were dropped that he believed Merritt is the correct suspect in the case.

Merritt’s attorneys argued there was never any evidence against their client in the case.

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