Police Investigate Whether Ohio Interstate Shootings Are Related, Including One Fatality
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A bullet tore through a car door, killing a passenger, and law enforcement officers are trying to determine if the shooting was related to eight other shots fired at vehicles on or near the same stretch of interstate.
Franklin County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Steve Martin said authorities planned to compare bullets from the shootings, the first reported in May and the others all in the past six and a half weeks just south of Columbus.
Gail Knisley, 62, of Washington Court House was killed Tuesday morning when a bullet ripped through the driver's door on Interstate 270. Hours later, a pickup truck was hit on a highway that intersects I-270 nearby, deputies said.
"I'm not using the word `sniper'," said Martin, who issued a statewide alert. "We're all working on this together -- police, the patrol, BCI (Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation), everybody."
The shootings were in close proximity, but the reports were filed by different law-enforcement agencies and had not all been coordinated until Tuesday, Martin said. Martin would not speculate on the type of weapon used.
Knisley was the only person to be hit in any of the shootings.
"What was that? What was that?" she said before slumping forward, according to the recording of the 911 call by her friend Mary Cox, 63, who was driving.
Sheriff Jim Karnes said he doubted the bullet was fired from another vehicle.
"The trajectory is wrong. It's too low and was straight across. Maybe it was someone target practicing. We don't know," Karnes said.