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12/10/2003
Cameras placed along section of highway where shootings took place

Ohio’s Department of Transportation has set up cameras along the section of Interstate 270 where a string of 14 shootings has taken place over several months, The Associated Press reported.

The cameras, which sit on poles in the highway’s median, were erected Dec. 8.

The cameras were set up just days after law-enforcement officials briefly closed part of the I-270 loop highway around the city. The shutdown, which took place Dec. 6, allowed officers to search for clues regarding the shootings, investigators said.

The AP said 23 miles of the highway – from where it intersects I-70 on the east, around the south of the city to the point where it intersects it again on the west - were closed for several hours.

In addition, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, which is leading the investigation, has released a list of what investigators call “behavioral aspects that may be associated with the person or persons responsible” for the shootings. Officers have been reluctant to release a formal profile up to this point.

Some of the “behavioral aspects” include:

  • The person “fits” into the area, meaning they are someone you would typically expect to see.
  • They are able to come and go in the area without drawing attention.
  • They are able to come and go at all hours of the day or night while arousing minimal suspicion.
  • They have shown carelessness with a firearm previously.
  • They are able to conceal themselves during a shooting, and are able to leave the area without drawing attention.

Twelve shootings have taken place in and around Columbus, OH, since May. Authorities now think all 12 shootings at or near the southwestern part of I-270, a loop highway surrounding Columbus, are linked.

Only one bullet hit a human target. It struck and killed local resident Gail Knisley Nov. 25, just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Knisley was riding in the car of a friend who was taking her to see a doctor. A pickup truck was hit just a few hours later nearby. Other bullets have hit a school and other cars.

At least three commercial motor vehicles have been hit by bullets, according to police and press reports: a Yellow Freight truck, a UPS delivery truck and a Coca-Cola truck.

Police are moving closer to solving the case. While they would not release many details, they have now received more than 1,000 tips, and they have linked the bullets from five of the shootings through ballistics.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, which is leading the investigation, has put out public alerts asking the shooter or shooters to contact them and start a dialog. In addition to the hotline set up for tips - (614) 462-4646 – the Sheriff’s Department has also set up a post office box for the shooter to use to contact authorities. It is PO Box 360562, Columbus, OH, 43236-0562.

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