Gov. Ducey, victims react to release of I-10 shooting suspectPosted: Updated:
Gov. Doug Ducey is speaking about the investigation into last summer's shooting along Interstate 10 just one day after a bombshell development. But what about the shooting victims? How are they reacting to the alleged gunman's release from jail?
[READ MORE: Accused I-10 shooter released from jail]
"This case is in the courts, and I'm gonna let the judicial branch do their job, and I'm certain we'll get a fair result," Ducey said.
Victims whose vehicles were hit by bullets last summer are not happy with the Department of Public Safety or the state. They're worried about the criminal case.
Robert McDonald sounds like someone who has lost confidence in the state's I-10 shootings investigation.
"I think that there was such a rush to make an arrest back in September that mistakes could have been made," McDonald said.
He's the second victim connected to the first four shootings with which primary suspect Leslie Merritt Jr. is charged.
"My life could have ended August 29th, 2015," McDonald said.
He's a charter bus driver who was on the I-10 headed to Las Vegas.
"At about 43rd Avenue, I heard a loud bang to the right and didn't think anything of it," McDonald added.
But during a stop to fuel up, he noticed a bullet had pierced the bus's metal exterior.
"...And it went through two seats and then lodged in a third, which was literally to the right and behind of me," McDonald remembered.
He's spent the last seven months off the road and on medical leave.
"I've been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder," he explained.
Knowing that a DPS analyst has questioned whether there is a ballistics match between Merritt's gun and bullet fragments from the scene, McDonald is worried about where the case stands.
"They had a solid case in the beginning," McDonald said. "Now, here we are months later, and he's now out of jail, with the possibility of charges gone. Yeah, of course, it's a botched job."
Ducey told us Wednesday he hasn't lost a bit of confidence in the case DPS has put together.
"If you go back seven months ago, this was all anyone was asking me about," Ducey said. "We had two weeks where there were random shootings happening on our freeways."
That was until an arrest came. The governor tried to quell fears about driving on Valley freeways with one infamous, three-word tweet: "We got him!" We asked him if he still stands by that tweet.
BREAKING: We got him! DPS SWAT team is in custody of the individual suspected of I-10 shootings. Apprehended moments ago.— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) September 19, 2015
"I am gonna let the process play out," Ducey said. "Like I said, I'm concerned about public safety and the public has been safe for the last seven months."
He side-stepped the question of whether his tweet was a rush to judgment.
"The entire Valley was living in fear, and we've been fortunate that we haven't had a rash of shootings," Ducey added. "It's been dramatically different the last seven months so let's let the judicial branch do what the judicial branch does."
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