Task force formed in Indiana following additional 'sniper' attacks

| Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A special task force of local, state and federal investigators has been formed to look into a series of what are being described as highway “sniper” attacks near Hammond, IN.

Nine vehicles were hit with some type of projectile between July 25 and August 4, several of which resulted in shattered windshields. None of the vehicles were heavy trucks, and no one has been injured, according to media reports.

Lake County Sheriff's Department spokesman Mike Higgins told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio that the attacks occurred on a four-mile stretch of State Road 912.

“These nine instances that we are working are definitely something shot from something,” Higgins said. “There's some doubt by some of the naysayers, because they say we haven't recovered a bullet or we haven't recovered a cartridge. Well, it's a low caliber, whatever it is. If it's a single-shot, it won't leave a cartridge, and it could even be a slingshot … but that is still something shot from something, and it's a sniper.”

Higgins said an unnamed “person of interest” was picked up, questioned and released in connection with the incidents. However, no official suspects have been named.

The sniper shootings in northeast Indiana began two days after a series of interstate highway sniper shootings left one man dead and another wounded. Seventeen-year-old Zachariah Blanton has been charged with the earlier shootings.

– By Reed Black, staff writer