TOPICS > Politics

Maryland School Shooting Linked to Seven Other Sniper Attacks

BY Admin  October 7, 2002 at 6:30 PM EST

Monday’s victim, who attends school in the Bowie, Md. suburb of the nation’s capital, was rushed to a regional hospital where he underwent a two-to-three hour surgery. Surgeons said the bullet shattered on contact and injured the boy’s spleen, stomach, pancreas, lung and diaphragm. As of this evening, he was listed in critical, but stable condition.

Authorities made the connection to the other shootings after the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms examined bullet fragments removed from the wounded teen.

“The projectile that was recovered from our victim this morning has been linked to our sniper. We are continuing to follow up on leads,” Prince George’s County Police Chief Gerald Wilson said late Monday.

The latest attack means the unidentified assailant or assailants have shot eight people since late Wednesday.

“All of our victims have been innocent and defenseless, but now we’re stepping over the line,” Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose said. “Shooting a kid — it’s getting to be really, really personal now.”

Most of the attacks occurred in Montgomery County. In a 27-hour span between late Wednesday and Thursday, the shooter killed six people. On Friday, a woman was shot in the back in Fredericksburg, Va., a community about an hour south of DC.

Police have found no witnesses who saw any of the attacks, but have convened nearly hourly press conferences to update the investigation and try to calm the community.

Investigators are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. But police said the attacks have not targeted any specific type of person — victims were both male and female and their ages ranged from 13- to 72-years-old.

Area schools have been locked down throughout the day and canceling all outdoors activity. Officials said the attacks have shaken the entire region.

“This community is in a state of fear,” Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan said.