Armed citizens search for I-10 shooter

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(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A group of armed volunteers is searching for the gunman firing at Valley freeways, despite criticism from the mayor of Phoenix.

Members of Bolt Force patrolled an area near 31st Avenue and Interstate 10 Friday night, looking for anything suspicious.

"Since it seems like [the shooter is] mobile, we have decided to put mobile units out," said Bolt, the group's founder.

Some members are former security guards, bounty hunters or retired military. Some have law-enforcement training. But they are all average citizens, and that has Phoenix's mayor concerned.

"We're putting everything into this to find who is doing this, trying to terrorize our community, and we don't need the help of this group called the Bolt Force," Mayor Greg Stanton said.

Bolt said his group's goal is to support law enforcement by observing and reporting suspicious activity.

[RELATED: Bolt Force volunteers calls police after dog is punched]

"When we find something, we keep them in our line of vision. Police arrive, they say 'What's up?' We tell them what's up. They go over there and they affect the arrest," he said. "That's the best way to do it."

But the best way doesn't always happen. Bolt was once stopped and frisked by police after a citizen thought he looked suspicious. 

What's more, he said members of the group are not afraid to take more direct action when warranted.

"If we see a subject pointing a rifle at the freeway, we're going to tell him to freeze and we're going to have him surrounded," Bolt said. "If he tries to go somewhere, we will stop him."

Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bart Graves said his agency does not want the group trying to make arrests.

"We don't want anybody -- anybody -- interfering with our investigations," Graves said. "To help us by leading us to an investigative lead, if you will, that's great."

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