BY CARRIE SPENCER, The Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Investigators trying to find out who is
responsible for a string of highway shootings said Sunday they have
found no link between the shootings and similar incidents elsewhere.
The first of the 11 vehicle shootings, on a five-mile stretch of the
interstate that circles Columbus, took place in May, but most
occurred in the last two months. Authorities did not connect the
cases until a woman was killed Tuesday; she was the only person hit
in the shootings.
The Franklin County sheriff's office has contacted law enforcement in
other cities to compare the cases, but has found no matches, Chief
Deputy Steve Martin said. He would not say what other shootings
investigators have examined.
In a West Virginia county, three people were shot to death at
convenience stores in August. About 50 miles north of Columbus,
someone shot at two vehicles in October 2002 on Interstate 71 near an
Franklin County authorities have definitively linked only two of the
11 shootings along I-270, including the one that killed Gail Knisley,
62, of Washington Court House.
Increased patrols in the area will continue, Martin said.
Many living and traveling along the stretch said they don't intend to
avoid the beltway. Often there's no better route.
Traffic hasn't dropped visibly since news of the shootings broke,
said Edward Sparks, 53, who drives the stretch at least a dozen times
a day making deliveries between two book manufacturer warehouses.
But he has noticed the extra squad cars, which makes him feel safer.
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"You don't go through there now that you don't see one sitting in the
middle, or driving by," Sparks said.