The gun that was allegedly used by a suspect to shoot four vehicles in the eleven shootings that took place during the Arizona freeway-shooting spree in August was not pawned at the time of the shootings, report police.
Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. was arrested Friday and charged for the first four shootings that occurred over two weeks in August and September.
Merritt insisted in court on Saturday that the police have “the wrong guy,” and that his gun had been in the pawnshop for the past two months.
“I haven’t even had access to a weapon,” he told the judge on Sunday.
Police spotted Merritt taking a gun to the pawnshop on the exact same day of his arrest.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety reported that they test fired the gun that Merritt allegedly pawned, and “the test fired bullets were matched to bullets and bullet fragments from the four cases.”
At the time of the shootings in question the firearm was not in pawn status,” the police said in a report. Police also report that Merritt’s social media pages referenced the “I-10 shooter” case.
Merritt’s father, Leslie Allen Merritt Sr. was quick to defend his son, claiming that the police have the wrong guy and urged the public not to judge him.
He claimed his son has a gun hobby and is a responsible owner, and insisted that many Phoenix area residents were talking and posting about the Arizona freeway shootings.
“We have no doubt to his innocence,” Merritt Sr. said. “We hope whoever has done this—regardless of who it is—eventually is caught and faces justice for it. We feel for all the people that were subjected to this violence.” I would just ask that everybody let this play out in court.”