Charges filed against accused Phoenix freeway shooter

Sep 23, 2015, 9:38 AM
Leslie Allen Merritt Jr., makes his initial appearance before a judge at the Maricopa County Sherif...
Leslie Allen Merritt Jr., makes his initial appearance before a judge at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Phoenix. The landscaper is the suspect in a series of Phoenix freeway shootings and was arrested Friday after trying to sell a gun at a pawn shop. (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)
(Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)

PHOENIX — Charges were formally filed Wednesday against an accused Phoenix freeway shooter on the same day the Department of Public Safety said the first shooting actually happened days before it was reported.

Little else has changed in the case against Leslie Merritt Jr., who has been charged in four of the 11 confirmed shootings mostly on Interstate 10.

He faces 16 felony counts, among them: three counts of drive-by shooting, six counts of aggravated assault and three counts of discharge of a firearm.

Merritt was arrested Sept. 18 after a weapon used in the shootings was forensically linked to him. He has denied involvement in the shootings that began, authorities now say, Aug. 27 instead of Aug. 29.

Agency spokesman Bart Graves said the discrepancy was caused when the driver admitted uncertainty as to when the car had been hit because it had been parked at the airport Aug. 27 and the bullet hole wasn’t noticed until Aug. 29.

On that morning, an SUV going east on I-10 near 19th Avenue was hit a bullet around 11 a.m.

Merritt, a landscaper, remained in jail with bail set at $1 million.

Authorities were still investigating the shootings. Only one person has been injured, a girl who was cut by shattered glass while she was riding in her family’s car.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo by Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)...
SuElen Rivera

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer not interested in state GOP chair role

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said she has been pursued as a potential successor to Kelli Ward as Arizona GOP chair, but she's not interested in the job.
9 hours ago
In the first half of 2019, more than 3.27million pedestrians crossed frmo Mexico to the U.S. throug...
SuElen Rivera

Santa Cruz County sheriff, who oversees Nogales, believes ‘there is no invasion’ at the southern border

Santa Cruz County Sheriff David Hathaway said on Wednesday he doesn't believe there is an invasion at the southern Arizona border.
9 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Downtown Mesa)...
KTAR.com

Inaugural Beards and Brews Booze Crawl coming to downtown Mesa on Saturday

Get in the holiday spirit this weekend with a new pub crawl in downtown Mesa this Saturday called Beards and Brews Booze Crawl.
9 hours ago
(City of Phoenix Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Phoenix boosts lifeguard pay incentive to $3,000 for 2023 pool season

After only having enough staff to open about half of its pools in 2022, the city of Phoenix is upping its incentive to lifeguards for next year.
9 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/City Government of Chandler, Arizona)...
KTAR.com

Chandler City Council approves policy to prohibit acts of discrimination

The Chandler City Council voted 6-1 to adopt an ordinance that prohibits discrimination during Monday’s meeting.
1 day ago
(Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Execution warrant requested for Arizona death row inmate

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has requested the state Supreme Court issue a warrant of execution for death row inmate Aaron Gunches.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Charges filed against accused Phoenix freeway shooter