of a Columbus family have been questioned and at least one of their cars
searched as police continue to pursue leads in the investigation into a series
of shootings along Interstate 270 near Columbus, OH, The Associated Press reported.
member of the family, James Gearheart, has been questioned twice by
law-enforcement officials. According to The
AP, he is a former prison inmate. He told the Columbus Dispatch he offered to take a polygraph to clear his name.
is among hundreds of people questioned by the task force investigating the
shootings. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, which is leading the
effort to solve the case, has received more than 3,100 tips; investigators told
the Dispatch they had received
several calls about the local resident.
are also looking at the records of schools in the area, WLWT TV reported, specifically focusing on disciplinary and attendance records.
station said officers would not discuss the results of that search. At least
one of the bullets linked to the shootings struck a school near I-270.
department has also asked the public for help in finding several cars seen at a
Speedway gas station near the site of one of the other shootings. The owner of
one of the vehicles, a large work van, has contacted police, but no one has yet
identified three others. They are:
late ‘80s to early
‘90s Nissan Stanza station wagon;
’86 to ’95 Ford
Taurus or Mercury Sable; and
’93 to 2000
Cadillac Seville or a ’93 to ’94 Chevrolet Lumina.
Eighteen shootings have taken
place in Columbus, OH, since May. Authorities say the shootings – all at or
near the southwestern part of I-270, a loop highway surrounding Columbus – are
Only one bullet hit a human
target. It struck and killed area 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 five commercial
motor vehicles have been hit by bullets, according to police and press reports,
including a Yellow Freight truck, a UPS delivery truck, a Coca-Cola truck, an
18-wheeler out of Texas and the Virginia-based rig.
The reward being offered for
information that leads to an arrest in the case has since risen to $60,000.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s
Department 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,