Officers search for evidence in highway sniper investigation

| 5/17/2005

No arrests have been made and no shell casings have been found after a sniper fired shots at law enforcement officials along a Missouri highway early in the morning, May 15, investigators said.

According to media reports, officers responded to an area along Highway 30 near Byrnes Mill, MO, after a woman reported seeing a muzzle flash and possibly shots taken at her vehicle. After officers responded, the shooter continued firing in their direction from wooded bluffs 60 to 70 yards away, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

No one was injured in the incident, but officers told the Post-Dispatch they could see the shots ricocheting off the ground and the hoods of their cars.

Although earlier reports said an unidentified man had been taken in for questioning, Jefferson County Sheriff Oliver “Glenn” Boyle said the man was arrested on an unrelated driving charge.

“The individual has not been charged, and there are no charges pending for him,” Boyer told Land Line. “He just happened to be in the area and was brought in on an unrelated charge. He’s one of a number of individuals that we’re investigating.”

Boyle said authorities have begun an investigation, but so far have not found any bullet casings in the dense, wooded area where the shootings occurred.

“The area’s full of that 3-foot-tall grass that they plant along the sides of interstates – it’s thick and rough, like horse hair,” Boyer said. “It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

Boyle said he is unsure of whether the person – or people – pulling the trigger was intentionally missing the officers; however, he said he is bothered by the boldness of the shooter, who continued shooting even with officers and circling helicopters searching the area.

“We’re not ruling anyone out – man or woman, single shooter or more than one shooter,” Boyer said. “It’s just too early in the investigation.”

– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer