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Manhunt for Va. highway shooter

By Larry O'Dell
The Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Gunfire struck several vehicles along an 11-mile stretch of Interstate 64 early Thursday, injuring two people and forcing police to shut down a portion of the road for nearly six hours.

The highway reopened around dawn, but Col. Steven Flaherty told reporters at a news conference that the shooter or shooters could still be in the area. Investigators were looking for suspects, but did not tell motorists to avoid the interstate.

"We're certainly going to put additional resources out," Flaherty said.

The shootings began around midnight, when police received an emergency call reporting gunfire. Authorities shut down a 20-mile stretch between Charlottesville and Waynesboro as they investigated the shootings, which were reported at on on-ramp at the 114 mile marker at Ivy and an overpass in the Afton area.

Two cars, a van and a tractor-trailer — all traveling westbound — were struck by bullets, Flaherty said. An unoccupied, parked Virginia Department of Transportation vehicle also was shot. Authorities said they are trying to determine exact details.

Police think the bullets were all of the same caliber but they could not be sure until forensic tests are completed. Flaherty could not say what type of gun was used.

The two injured motorists were treated at hospitals and released. Flaherty said he did not know if the victims were struck by bullets or shattered glass.

The gunfire was reported in the central portion of the state, almost six years after a series of sniper shootings terrorized communities in the northern part of the state. John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were convicted in the October 2002 shootings, in which ten people were killed and three wounded in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia.

Flaherty called Thursday's shootings "random firing."

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