At least 1 dead, 12 hurt in series of drive-by shootings in Arizona

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SURPRISE, Ariz. (NEXSTAR) — One person was killed, three wounded and nine others injured in reported drive-by shootings over a 90-minute span Thursday in three cities west of Phoenix, authorities said.

A suspect was detained, but authorities said it remained unclear if that person was responsible for all of the shootings.

The name of the suspect wasn’t immediately released.

Police departments in Peoria, Surprise and Glendale were investigating shootings in their cities, along with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Authorities are investigating at least eight separate shooting scenes, Peoria police spokesman Brandon Sheffert said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Four people suffered gunshot wounds, and one of those victims died, he said. Sheffert said the deceased victim was found along a freeway. Sheffert emphasized that the information was preliminary and that detectives are still working to piece together the timeline, an investigation that is even more complicated because it involves multiple jurisdictions.

The other victims had a range of injuries, including being hit by shrapnel, Sheffert said, adding that the shootings could be considered “drive-by”-style attacks.

Officials at Banner Health said they received nine patients at three of their hospitals. But the extent of the victims’ injuries and their conditions were not immediately released.

“Our thoughts go with them,” Sheffert said of the victims’ families. “This is trying for everyone.”

Police in Surprise reported two people were shot around noon Thursday.

Witnesses provided authorities with a description of the getaway vehicle, a white SUV, and the suspect was detained after a traffic stop in Surprise. Sgt. Tommy Hale with the Surprise Police Dept. said some local firefighters who had seen an alert with a description of the vehicle spotted the SUV and called it in.

Hale said the driver was the only occupant in the vehicle and was taken into custody without incident.

When asked if there were multiple suspects in the shooting incidents, Sheffert said he didn’t think so.

“There was a very good description given of the person, the vehicle and the license plate given,” Sheffert said. “We don’t believe there was anyone else involved.”

Sheffert said that the FBI is involved in the investigation as well.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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