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Sunday, 6 October, 2002, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
Seventh attack linked to US sniper
Montgomery County police chief Charles Moose
Police chief Charles Moose urged people to stay calm
US police are now linking a shooting in the state of Virginia with the Washington-area crime spree which left six dead on Wednesday and Thursday.


My level of concern about the ability of the suspect to strike again is high

Police Chief Charles Moose
Forensic tests confirmed the bullet used to shoot a woman in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Friday came from the same weapon used in four of the six attacks in Washington and its Maryland suburbs.

The 43-year-old woman, who was shot in the back outside a craft store in Fredericksburg, Virginia, some 50 miles (79 km) south of Washington, is now in a stable condition in hospital. She has not been named.

Click here for a map of the area

Local and federal investigators are continuing to track down thousands of leads in pursuit of the sniper now thought responsible for all seven attacks.

Police fear the gunman, who apparently shot his victims at random, may kill again.

Joe Riehl of ATF holds a Remington rifle, possibly similar to that used in the attacks
Police are still investigating the bullets used in the attacks
"My level of concern about the ability of the suspect to strike again is high," said Charles Moose, police chief in Maryland's Montgomery County, where five of the victims died.

"We implore him to surrender, stop this madness."

But he also urged residents of the US capital and its suburbs to try to continue with their weekend as normal.

No pattern

So far, there appears to be little pattern between the victims - men and women aged from 25 to 72, of white, black, Hispanic and Indian origin.

About 100 local police officers and 50 agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are now working on the case, Mr Moose said.

Some 600 of 2,500 leads received are believed to be credible, he said.

Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera
Victim: Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, shot while cleaning her car
Police said earlier they were searching for a gunman and the driver of a white van who may have taken him from killing to killing, but have not ruled out there being more than one shooter, or copycat criminals.

A reward of $50,000 has been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Mr Moose said: "This case remains our highest priority and people certainly still have high anxiety," he said.

Death toll

All six deaths were caused by a single shot which police believe may have been fired from 100 yards or more across car parks.

These who died have been named as:

  • James Martin, 55, killed in the car park of a grocery store in Wheaton on Wednesday evening
  • James "Sonny" Buchanan, 39, killed around 0745 on Thursday as he was mowing grass in the White Flint area
  • Taxi driver Prenkumar Walekar, 54, shot dead while putting petrol in his car at 0815 in the Aspen Hill area
  • Sarah Ramos, 34, killed 30 minutes later outside a post office in Silver Spring
  • Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, 25, shot dead at a petrol station in Kensington
  • Pascal Charlot, 72, shot in the chest as he walked in Washington DC on Thursday night


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America and the gun

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04 Oct 02 | Americas
19 Aug 98 | In Depth
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