Charges dropped against 'person of interest' in freeway shootings

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Oscar de la Torre Munoz, 19, of Avondale. (Sourse: KPHO/KTVK) Oscar de la Torre Munoz, 19, of Avondale. (Sourse: KPHO/KTVK)

Charges have been dropped against an Avondale man detained in connection with the string of freeway shootings in Phoenix.

Commissioner Charles Donofrio granted a prosecutor's request to dismiss a petition to revoke 19-year-old Oscar de la Torre Munoz's probation term.

Authorities have declined to explain why the man was questioned about the shootings but have said he was not a prime suspect.

Maricopa County Attorney's Office spokesman Jerry Cobb said prosecutors had to drop the petition because the DPS did not submit a report explaining why the man's probation should be revoked.

The man was sentenced to probation on an endangerment conviction for excessive speeding and fleeing from police.

He is set to be released from the sheriff's Tower Jail once paperwork is completed, which could take up to eight hours, according Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Chris Hegstrom.

Munoz was a passenger in a Chevy Tahoe at the time of his arrest near 107th Avenue and Indian School.

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"It's fair to say we still have an interest in him but we are not a point where we can say he is a suspect. He never was a prime suspect,"Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said in a news briefing Friday morning. 

Graves said DPS still wants to keep him on their radar.

“We continue to investigate this (freeway shootings) case diligently and around the clock," Graves said. "The detectives are taking a lot of time trying to add up various factors in evidence, we will not be releasing evidence to the media because it could jeopardize the investigation and arrests," Graves added. 

Without elaborating, Graves ended his news briefing by saying, "since a week ago today, we've made headway."

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Copyright 2015 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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