Police arrest teen in connection with Indiana sniper case

| 7/26/2006

The Indiana State Police arrested 17-year-old Zachariah Blanton Tuesday afternoon, July 25, as a suspect in a series of sniper shootings in southern and northeastern Indiana, after an alleged tip from an acquaintance of the teen, The Associated Press reported.

One man was killed and another was injured in sniper attacks on four vehicles Sunday, investigators told reporters during a press conference Monday evening. The AP reported that the teen faces preliminary charges of murder, attempted murder and criminal recklessness.

One of the vehicles hit was a tractor-trailer. The driver was not injured.

“(The trucker) was driving a 2006 Volvo for Roadway Express, and sure enough, his truck had taken bullet rounds in the windshield and the side door,” State Police Sgt. Rod Russell told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio. “Fortunately, the driver was not injured, and we’re thankful for that.”

The attacks occurred about 100 miles apart on Interstates 65 and 69.

According to a police press release, investigators recovered a Remington 710 rifle, which fires .270 caliber rounds, when they arrested Blanton.

The FBI joined the investigation Monday. Investigators recovered bullets and other forensic evidence and are reviewing video surveillance tapes from businesses near the shooting sites.

Indiana police also consulted with authorities in Columbus, OH, where a sniper killed one person in a series of highway shootings two years ago.

That shooter, Charles McCoy, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer