Two Arrested in Sniper Case
|Former Soldier Named In Federal Firearms Warrant
MIDDLETOWN, Maryland (CNN) -- Members of the sniper task force arrested an ex-soldier and his stepson early Thursday at a freeway rest stop. Sources told CNN the two were considered suspects in the shootings that have killed 10 and wounded three in the Washington area.
Sources identified the two as John Allen Muhammad, 42 -- a Gulf War veteran named in a federal arrest warrant for firearms violations who was being sought as a material witness in the sniper case -- and his 17-year-old stepson John Lee Malvo, a Jamaican citizen.
They were taken to an undisclosed location in Montgomery County and questioned. The string of deadly shootings began in the county three weeks ago, and the most recent victim linked to the sniper was killed there Tuesday. (Trail of the sniper)
A weapon has not been recovered, but witnesses said police removed a couple of duffel bags from the car. Police have obtained a warrant to search the car more thoroughly.
Muhammad and Malvo were sleeping in a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice, which a motorist and attendant recognized as matching the description of a vehicle authorities were looking for -- a blue or burgundy 1990 Chevrolet Caprice with New Jersey license plate NDA 21Z.
The sighting was reported to police, who relayed the tip to the sniper task force, which dispatched officers to the scene some 50 miles northwest of Washington.
The rest area is along a seven-mile stretch of Interstate 70 near Myersville, Maryland, that had been shut down in a dragnet launched just a few hours earlier by Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose, the head of the sniper task force.
After the October 3 shooting of Pascal Charlot, 72, in Washington, D.C., law enforcement officials searched for a burgundy Chevrolet Caprice. One such car was later found burned out in the D.C. area, but it was never determined whether it had anything to do with the fatal shooting.
Authorities removed a tree trunk from a duplex in Tacoma, Washington. It was apparently used for target practice.
"Our inability to talk has been a concern for us as it has been for you," Moose said. "You have indicated that you want us to do and say certain things. You asked us to say, 'We have caught the sniper like a duck in a noose.' We understand that hearing us say this is important to you.
"However, we want you to know how difficult it has been to understand what you want because you have chosen to use only notes, indirect messages, and calls to other jurisdictions."
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