Person of interest in I-10 shootings in court on pot charge
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Person of interest in I-10 shootings in court on pot charge

A 19-year-old Arizona man described by authorities as a person of interest in a spate of recent highway shootings appeared in court on an unrelated marijuana possession charge on Saturday, online jail records showed.

Oscar De La Torre Munoz, of Avondale, Arizona, was detained by state troopers on Friday at a Phoenix-area gas station along with an unidentified woman who was later released. Their white Chevrolet Tahoe was seized.

Authorities have provided few details, but say De La Torre Munoz is being questioned in connection with an investigation into 11 possible vehicle shootings since Aug. 29 on a roughly 10-mile (16-km) stretch of Interstate 10 where it runs through the Phoenix metro area.

The head of Arizona's state police has described the incidents as "domestic terrorism."

In a brief appearance before a judge at around 5 a.m. local time, De La Torre Munoz confirmed his name and date of birth, and was read the marijuana possession charge.

In exclusive video of his arrival a day earlier at the Fourth Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix from local news channel ABC15, De La Torre Munoz was asked by a reporter whether he was involved in the shootings, or if he knew anything about them.

"No," he replied each time as an officer led him into the building.

In the latest confirmed incident, a driver discovered a bullet hole in the side of his commercial truck on Thursday.

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Only one person has been injured: a 13-year-old girl suffered a slight cut to her ear when the windshield of the sports utility vehicle she was in shattered during the first shooting on Aug. 29.

Of the 11 incidents under investigation, police say eight involved gunfire, and the others some sort of projectile. Authorities have offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

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Oscar De La Torre Munoz