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Three alleged Phoenix highway shooter copycats arrested

By
Tomas Monzon
Police in Arizona have been investigating a string of shootings along an eight-mile stretch of Interstate 10, pictured. Photo by Tim Roberts Photography/Shutterstock
Police in Arizona have been investigating a string of shootings along an eight-mile stretch of Interstate 10, pictured. Photo by Tim Roberts Photography/Shutterstock

PHOENIX, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Police in Arizona arrested three teenagers Sunday after they allegedly attacked cars and pedestrians with a slingshot in what officials are describing as a copycat of similar attacks along Interstate 10.

Authorities said the teenagers were not suspected in a string of shootings along the highway, which has been under investigation for several weeks.

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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told ABC 15 the three 18-year-olds admitted to flinging rocks at cars and pedestrians.

Aaron Nottingham, Christian Cook and Albert German were charged with assault, criminal damage and endangerment. A fourth 18-year-old was under investigation for being an accomplice.

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Police first caught wind of the teenagers' alleged actions on Saturday when a couple's car window was allegedly shattered by occupants in a vehicle that pulled up alongside them. The license plate number of the vehicle was matched to a car linked to the teenagers and the vehicle was later located.

Authorities said the slingshot incident was not linked to the at least 11 shooting incidents the Arizona Department of Public Safety has been investigating. Police said they believe the three teens were trying to mimic the shootings.

Last week, Oscar de la Torre Munoz, 19, a person of interest in the freeway shootings, and his mother were arrested at a gas station a few miles from Interstate 10. Though his mother was released, Munoz was jailed for possession of marijuana but no details about his possible connection to the shootings were released.

RELATED Three more suspected shootings on Arizona highway brings total to 12

The shootings have taken place along a busy, eight-mile stretch of the highway. Authorities have confirmed that at least one 13-year-old girl was hurt by shattered glass during the shootings.

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