Thursday, May 19, 2005

A suspected sniper is on the loose!

The news copy tells this better than I think I can.

Jefferson Co. Police Search For Suspected Sniper Shooting At Drivers And Police
created: 5/15/2005 10:42:34 PM
(KSDK) -- A suspected sniper is on the loose and authorities in Jefferson County have a warning for residents.

The shootings happened on Highway 30 near Betty Hill Road in Byrnes Mill. Two different drivers thought they were shot at around 12:45 a.m.

Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer said at a news conference, "One of them saw what she believed to be a muzzle fire and observed sparks flying off the road."

Investigators believe the shooter or shooters were perched on a heavily wooded bluff overlooking Highway 30. Sheriff Boyer said, "He's not afraid of police and that gives me great concern."

Officers who responded were shot at during a two-hour period. Officers estimate as many as 25 shots were fired.

Sheriff Boyer said, "Any time a person is engaged in sniping a citizen on a roadway, waits for the responding officer and engages that officer and waited for assisting officers and engaged those officers, I think is a dangerous individual."

Highway 30 in that area was shut down for five hours while officers searched by ground and air. Sheriff Boyer says investigators are still looking for the bullets and shell casings from the firearm, "They were guessing it was some type of medium to heavy weapon; anywhere from a 9mm up to a heavy hunting rifle is what could have been used."

Nobody was hurt. No vehicles were struck. That's why investigators speculate the shooter intentionally missed. Byrnes Mill Police Chief Ed Locke said, "When that third volley came toward police officers, I actually heard the concrete fragments hit the hood of my car."

Sheriff Boyer is asking residents to be cautious and to report anything suspicious, "If you see somebody climbing the bluffs at 2:00 a.m., that's not normal, contact us."

A task force will be formed to work on solving this case. It will consist of a number of different police agencies and possibly the FBI.

In the meantime, investigators are asking the two drivers who were shot at to call the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office so investigators can get more information.

This is scary! They shut down the Highway, the police were "pinned down" under the bluff for a few hours, local residents were scared to death, the local school cancelled outdoor activities - several law enforcement agencies even assembled a "Sniper Response Team."

The resolution:

Police: Jefferson County Sniper Was A Group Of Drunk Teens Shooting At Tree
created: 5/18/2005 5:33:20 PM
KSDk-There is no Jefferson County Sniper. That's the word late Wednesday afternoon from investigators.

The incident happend late Saturday night. Motorists on Highway 30 near Byrnes Mill reported shots being fired from a bluff over the highway. Police responded, and more shots were fired. No one was hit. Police believed there might have been a sniper.

Wednesday, investigators announced 19-year-old Donald Christie had been charged in the shootings. Police say he was at a party with several other teens, that they were drinking, and that they were firing shots at a tree that was on a bluff above the highway.

No comments: