Arizona

The Latest: New tests unravel Phoenix freeway shooting case

  • FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2015 file photo, a sign displays a shooter tip line above Interstate 10 in Phoenix. After weeks of random shootings on Phoenix freeways that rattled residents, police believed they had their man when they arrested Leslie Merritt Jr. Seven months later the entire case fell apart, leading to his release, the dismissal of charges and allegations of a botched investigation. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2015 file photo, a sign displays a shooter tip line above Interstate 10 in Phoenix. After weeks of random shootings on Phoenix freeways that rattled residents, police believed they had their man when they arrested Leslie Merritt Jr. Seven months later the entire case fell apart, leading to his release, the dismissal of charges and allegations of a botched investigation. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2015 file photo, Leslie Allen Merritt Jr., enters a hearing room at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Phoenix. After weeks of random shootings on Phoenix freeways that rattled residents, police believed they had their man when they arrested Merritt. Seven months later the entire case fell apart, leading to his release, the dismissal of charges and allegations of a botched investigation.  (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2015 file photo, Leslie Allen Merritt Jr., enters a hearing room at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Phoenix. After weeks of random shootings on Phoenix freeways that rattled residents, police believed they had their man when they arrested Merritt. Seven months later the entire case fell apart, leading to his release, the dismissal of charges and allegations of a botched investigation. (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 27, 2016 file photo, Maricopa County District Attorney Bill Montgomery discusses charges being dropped against Leslie Merritt Jr. in the freeway shootings case. After weeks of random shootings on Phoenix freeways that rattled residents, police believed they had their man when they arrested Merritt. Seven months later the entire case fell apart, leading to his release, the dismissal of charges and allegations of a botched investigation. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

    FILE - In this April 27, 2016 file photo, Maricopa County District Attorney Bill Montgomery discusses charges being dropped against Leslie Merritt Jr. in the freeway shootings case. After weeks of random shootings on Phoenix freeways that rattled residents, police believed they had their man when they arrested Merritt. Seven months later the entire case fell apart, leading to his release, the dismissal of charges and allegations of a botched investigation. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the dismissal of charges in the Phoenix freeway shooting case (all times local):

8:50 a.m.

Seven months after an arrest, the entire case against a suspect in a series of freeway shootings that rattled Phoenix residents has fallen apart.

An analysis from an independent forensics expert hired by the prosecution now has the Arizona Department of Public Safety facing allegations of a botched investigation and a gunman authorities dubbed a domestic terrorist possibly still on the loose.

The dismissal of charges against Leslie Merritt Jr. last week was a shocking reversal.

A DPS crime lab found a match in September between bullets from four shootings to a gun belonging to Merritt.

DPS Director Frank Milstead, however, said Friday that he believes there is enough evidence to show Merritt is the correct suspect.

Police say the shootings began Aug. 27 and continued until Sept. 10.

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8:25 a.m.

Seven months after an arrest, the entire case against a suspect in a series of freeway shootings that rattled Phoenix residents fell apart.

Leslie Merritt's arrest, the entire case fell apart, leading to his release, the dismissal of charges, allegations of a botched investigation and a gunman authorities dubbed a domestic terrorist possibly still on the loose.

Police believe the shootings began Aug. 27 and continued until Sept. 10. Investigators determined eight of the incidents were bullet strikes while the remaining three were some other projectiles.

A DPS crime lab found a match between bullets from four shootings to a gun belonging to Merritt.

But a forensics expert hired by the prosecution re-tested the bullets found the lab had come to a faulty conclusion.

DPS Director Frank Milstead, however, said Friday that he believes there is enough evidence to show Merritt is the correct suspect.