Suspect arrested in Phoenix-area shootings, carjacking

A Phoenix man was arrested early Wednesdy in connection with a series of shootings and a carjacking that left at least two people injured and at least five vehicles damaged.

Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Damon Cecil told KNXV that the suspect was in his mid-30s. His name was not immediately released.

The violence began late Tuesday night on and around Highway 87, in the northeastern suburbs of Phoenix, Maricopa County Sheriff's Det. Doug Matteson told the Associated Press.

He said that a person in a vehicle opened fire on a passing car and struck a person inside. Then the suspect fled toward a nearby casino, shooting and wounding another person while carjacking a vehicle.

The suspect was "firing rounds into that vehicle and striking another person, who was taken to the hospital," Matteson told KNXV.

The suspect then drove north along Highway 87, known as the Beeline Highway. Witnesses reported the vehicle was traveling the wrong way and shooting at passing cars and law enforcement. A Department of Public Safety cruiser was among those hit by gunfire.

This was an active shooter situation," said Cecil, who added that at least five to six vehicles, including the patrol car, were damaged by gunfire.

Mesa police helicopters eventually located the suspect's abandoned vehicle. The suspect was found in the fetal position a quarter-mile away. He was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries after being bitten by a police dog.

Multiple rifles, including a semi-automatic AR-15, as well as ammunition and body armor were found by the suspect's vehicle, Cecil said.

One of the injured victims was grazed in the head by a bullet and refused medical treatment. The other was taken to a local hospital with a leg injury that is considered non-life-threatening.

Cecil said troopers were investigating reports that more people may have been shot, but did not stay at the scene.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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