Colonel Frank Milstead, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

So, there is a freeway shooter with a firearms, a copycat (or copycats) with BB/pellet rifles, and now apparently copycats of copycats armed with slingshots who managed to get busted:

Three teenagers were arrested in Arizona after police say they were launching rocks at cars and pedestrians with a slingshot in an apparent “copycat” attack inspired by a wave of vehicle shootings along a major highway in Phoenix, authorities said Sunday.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said at a news conference that the 18-year-olds admitted to shooting the slingshot at several cars and pedestrians between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Authorities do not believe the three are responsible for firing bullets and other projectiles at 11 vehicles in the past two weeks along a 10-mile (16-km) stretch of Interstate 10 where it runs through the Phoenix metro area.

“This probably is a copycat but that’s still serious and I’m sure there will be copycats out there,” Arpaio said.

The teens remained in jail on Sunday on charges of criminal damage and conspiracy, said Colonel Frank Milstead, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

The three were using a slingshot and granite rocks to smash windows out of cars traveling on the east side of Phoenix, near the suburb of Mesa, Milstead said.

Sadly, when a criminal investigation of this kind takes a significant amount of time to resolve, some knuckleheads get the bright idea to emulate these dangerous acts. While slingshots are not on par with firearms, they can indeed be lethal, and so its a very good thing these three hoodlums are in custody.

The man who was picked up Friday as a possible suspect in a series of confusing stories that said he was a suspect, then not a suspect, then a person of interest who has been released, is actually still in police custody, according to Frank Milstead, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Coincidentally, there has not been a shooting since this 19-year-old Phoenix man has been taken into custody.