Arizona police, already on alert after a string of freeway shootings, checked out two more possible attacks on Thursday — including a report that a bullet hit a vehicle.
Ten cars and trucks have already been struck, mostly by bullets but also by other projectiles, since Aug. 29, all on or near Interstate 10.
The attacks have raised fears that a sniper — perhaps more than one — is targeting drivers.
On Thursday morning, police said they were checking a report that a projectile shattered a vehicle’s window on I-10. Later in the morning, police said they were looking into a separate report of a bullet.
We are currently investigating a delayed report of a bullet that struck a commercial vehicle. No other information is available.
— Dept. Public Safety (@Arizona_DPS) September 10, 2015
— 12 News (@12News) September 10, 2015
The 10th attack was reported Wednesday — a pickup truck that had a rear window blown out as it rolled along Interstate 10.
Police say drivers have been lucky so far: The only injury was a 13-year-old girl who was cut by flying glass when the window of her car was shattered by a bullet.
Robert McDonald was driving an empty tour bus when a bullet came through and sliced into the seat just behind him. He said it would have grazed his shoulder if it had been a little more powerful.
“And if I would have moved my head,” he said, “I would have got hit.”
There are no suspects, not even a description of the suspect’s car. Billboards along the interstate have flashed a phone number for drivers to report tips.
Col. Frank Milstead, the state director of public safety, referred to the attacks as “domestic terrorism crimes.”
And he said there may be more than one person behind them.
“I am of the opinion right now that we have multiple shooters just because the M.O.’s have changed,” he told NBC News.
The shootings have drawn comparisons to the sniper attacks that terrorized the Washington area in the fall of 2002. Ten people were killed in those shootings, which targeted drivers pumping gas and people out for other ordinary errands.
One gunman, John Allen Muhammad, was executed in 2009, and his accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, is serving life without the possibility of parole.
The Phoenix gunman is similarly feeding on terror, said Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI profiler and NBC News analyst.
“He knows the time he wants to be out there. He knows the location,” he said. “He, in his mind, is playing this chess game with the authorities.”