Police try to determine if 3 Colo. shootings are linked

Police and the FBI refused to comment on the possibility of a serial shooter

By P. Solomon Banda and Sadie Gurman
Associated Press

LOVELAND, Colo. — Police in northern Colorado are investigating any possible link between the slaying of a man on a neighborhood sidewalk and two previous shootings of a bicyclist and a driver.

Police and the FBI refused to comment Thursday on the possibility of a serial shooter. But they have offered a $10,000 reward for information on the first two unsolved shootings that authorities say are related — though they haven't said how.

In the latest case, 65-year-old William Connole was found on a sidewalk along a main street in Loveland. Family and neighbors say Connole had survived cancer and often took late-night walks through his quiet neighborhood.

The bicyclist, 48-year-old John Jacoby, was found dead May 18 along a rural road in Windsor. On April 22, Cori Romero, 21, was driving on Interstate 25 when she was shot in the neck. She survived. All three shootings occurred within 15 miles of each other.

"We don't have any specific information from the shooting that occurred here last night that this case is related," Loveland Police Chief Luke Hecker said Thursday. But he noted there were enough similarities to investigate a possible link.

FBI special agent in charge Thomas Ravenelle said it would be inappropriate to comment on whether the shootings were the work of a sniper.

Shootings are rare in Loveland, a city of about 70,000 people about 50 miles north of Denver.

Sadie Rogers, 15, said Connole was her grandfather and had worked for years in the computer industry before taking a job at Home Depot. She said the nighttime walks helped him sleep after work.

"He just did everything for everyone he could," she said.

The family issued a statement Thursday saying "Bill was a generous, loving and caring father of 3, grandfather of 6 and friend to countless more."

Windsor police Lt. Rick Klimek said tips were pouring in about the cyclist shooting. The tips have involved years-old shootings, suspicious vehicles and other information. Investigators check each one.

"They're all going into a database to see what, if anything, fits together," Klimek said. "People are just hypersensitive now to their surroundings."

Drivers in northern Colorado have reported a string of broken vehicle windows since the I-25 shooting. Investigators so far have found no indication that gunshots were involved in those cases.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press

Associated Press
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