Skip to comments.This time, sniper left clues - Witness reports seeing man fire fatal shot at latest victim
Posted on 10/16/2002 6:56:18 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
This time, sniper left clues
Witness reports seeing man fire fatal shot at latest victim
FALLS CHURCH, Va. - The roving sniper left more clues after Monday night's killing, with a number of witnesses getting a better, more chilling glimpse of him and his getaway van as they looked beyond his latest victim bleeding to death on the parking garage floor.
One government official described the closest, most stark sighting yet by a witness who reported seeing the gunman step brazenly from his van - about 90 feet from Linda Franklin and her husband, Ted, as they loaded shelving into their car - fire and then flee.
The slaying at Home Depot was the first time that witnesses said they saw the actual shooting, police officials said. Witnesses offered enough partial glimpses of the fleeing sniper to allow a police sketch artist to attempt a composite drawing, according to knowledgeable detectives.
A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said another witness gave a description of a dark-skinned man, possibly Hispanic or Middle Eastern, in a white van.
Also for the first time, witnesses were able to give information about license plates on vehicles seen fleeing the scene, including a light-colored Chevrolet Astro van with a burned-out rear taillight and a roof rack.
Police released two composite images of a van that witnesses say they saw Friday near a Spotsylvania County, Va., gas station where a Philadelphia man was fatally shot. Although the images are of different makes - one an Astro van and the other a Ford Econoline, each with a ladder rack on the roof - authorities said that only one vehicle was seen and that eyewitnesses gave different accounts of the brand.
Law enforcement sources said there was no indication the sniper targeted Ms. Franklin because of her job as an intelligence operations specialist in the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center. Montgomery County, Md., Police Chief Charles Moose, who is heading the investigation, emphasized that Ms. Franklin was not working on the sniper case.
Ballistics evidence Tuesday connected Ms. Franklin's slaying to the gunman who has killed eight other people and wounded two since Oct. 2.
With the terrifying spree nearly two weeks old, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld agreed Tuesday evening to provide military surveillance aircraft in the hunt for the killer, a Pentagon spokesman said. Sources said federal agents on the plane will relay any information they collect to authorities on the ground. More than half a dozen agencies already are working on the case.
The Army also has started searching its records for people with sniper training.
Separately, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said investigators are hesitant to rule out the possibility that the slayings are the work of a terrorist because there is no hard evidence about motive.
Robert Young, a Washington construction worker, returned to the shopping center Tuesday to talk with police. He said he had heard a muffled gunshot and saw a white van the night before.
Mr. Young said that as he backed his truck out of his parking spot, a white Astro van with two men inside tried to turn into his lane. He said the driver appeared very agitated to find his way blocked and instead drove by a neighboring restaurant and out of sight.
Mr. Young, who said he got a good look at the driver, described him as a short man of slight build who appeared to be Middle Eastern.
All the victims have been cut down by a single bullet fired from a distance with a high-powered rifle as they went about their everyday tasks. The sniper's only apparent communication with investigators has been a tarot death card inscribed, "Dear Policeman, I am God."
Chief Moose said there appeared to be similarities between the van seen at Friday's shooting and the van from Monday night's attack. Fairfax County Police Chief Tom Manger would not say whether witnesses to the latest attack were able to give complete license plate numbers to investigators.
"Each shooting has revealed more to this investigation. We're encouraged every day," said Michael Bouchard, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The sniper escaped a huge dragnet around Falls Church, 10 miles west of the nation's capital. Traffic was backed up for miles as police surrounded and searched dozens of white vans.
Tod Burke, a former Maryland police officer who teaches criminal justice at Radford University in Virginia, said the killer is either escaping before the dragnet comes down or has some kind of hideout where he can watch the chaos that erupts.
Meanwhile, the tension has climbed steadily in the Washington suburbs. On Tuesday, the flood of tips, many of them false alarms from edgy residents, prompted Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening to ban outdoor shooting in four Washington-area counties.
Outside the Home Depot, shoppers tentatively returned while officers made a last sweep for evidence and towed the victim's red convertible away.
Of course! He only matches the profile by 99%. We must have 200% in order for us to feel right.
I beg your pardon?
It doesn't cost anything and only takes one minute to register. All you need is an
e-mail address, FRiend. And I posted the full article, btw.....
They could train other cells and do many locations at once say during the Christmas season.
Thanks! Always wondered what the password was! ;o)
There's a "war" going on in the newspaper/usability universe over linking obstructions, and the paper you cited has one of the worst policies, requiring pointless registration and then forcing you to go though a main page before getting to the desired story.
The biteme/biteme is a common technique across many sites that folks use to tweak the web design teams' noses.
I meant no disrespect toward you whatsoever, and apologize if I offended.
The other theory is that these guys are smart, and know that the more evidence that they leave, the more chance they have of getting caught.Just because its a Jihad, does not mean they all want to die for allah. These guys may be payed for what they are doing.
I thought they had said the ballistics were conclusive?
So they say. The FBI says he doesn't exist, but the seven witnesses they ordered to keep their mouths shut say otherwise.
Folks on this thread have a lot of catching up to do. The monday night shooting had eyewitnesses. The weapon has been identified as a Chinese made AK-74. It's the same weapon used in at least 5 other shootings (the rest are assumed to be the same). The perp was middle eastern in appearance, according to three witnesses. He got into a white van and drove away. He was seen crossing the interstate median to avoid the roadblocks. the witness to this got a partial licence plate number. There's more, but I'm out of breath.
At least get up to speed on the other threads before repeating week-old theories.
They said that in the JFK assassination and the Martin Luther King murder too. Sometimes they lie, including times when their purposes would be better served by the actual facts. But once they come up with an *official version*, they stick with it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.