Sniper Scare at Shenandoah

Sniper Scare at Shenandoah

roger
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October 11th, 2002, 11:58 am #1

02-531
Shenandoah National Park (VA)
Search for Suspected Sniper



On the morning of October 9, the park received a BOL (be on the lookout) message from Front Royal PD for a white box truck similar to the one associated with the recent series of sniper shootings in Maryland and Virginia. Because the vehicle had been seen near the park, employees were moved from highly public areas to safer locations. Skyline Drive and developed areas were thoroughly checked, but no sign of the truck was found. A local citizen mistakenly assumed that the search meant that the sniper was in the park, which led to some local concern and media interest. Park law enforcement staff worked with local agencies to quickly ascertain that neither the vehicle nor a suspect appeared to be in or near the park.
[Submitted by Greg Stiles, Assistant Chief Ranger]



http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/ ... %3A00%3A00
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 24th, 2002, 2:20 am #2

This sniper story boggles the mind. I know I personally would not do anything outside in the DC metro area and friends/co-workers/etc. all have a sad paranoia that was unheard of even in the days around Sept. 11.

I wish I could make light of the scare like what happened in the anthrax scare:
http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/mes ... 1004058914

However, still there is a lot of misinformation out there. During the current scare, I hope the Tacoma information is successful.

As a matter of record I would be interested in hearing from folks in the MD/VA area and hearing your descriptions of how this affects you.


So here's the posts:
The French Connection:

While French law-enforcement authorities have alerted American counterparts to their concerns about a missing 25-year-old trainee officer, evidence linking him to the shootings is thin.The missing second lieutenant, whose Slavic-sounding name has been withheld at his family’s request, was due back from a hiking trip in Canada and the United States by September 2.
FRENCH AUTHORITIES ALERTED Interpol about the cadet over the weekend. Meanwhile, local newspapers have seized on the speculation under headlines like, “A GOOD SHOT FROM COËTQIDAN HAS DISAPPEARED” and “ON THE TRAIL OF A DESERTER.”
The missing man has received routine training on the FAMAS assault rifle, the French military equivalent of the M-16. The FAMAS, like the gun being used by the Washington sniper, is a .223 caliber weapon. But while the French press has singled out the cadet for his shooting abilities, school spokesman Cdr. Francois Guillermet cautions against making much of his marksmanship. “That came out of the hat of a journalist... He isn’t better or worse than the other students here. He knows how to handle a weapon because that’s his job.”

More:
http://www.msnbc.com/news/824504.asp
Aerial video of the scene showed a law enforcement officer grid off the back yard with yellow tape and saw off a large tree trunk at its roots. The stump was then wrapped in plastic and taken away. A backhoe could be seen.

The sources said agents wanted the stump because they believe it might have been used for target practice and might contain potential evidence.

Agents also were apparently using metal detectors in a search of the premises. The sources said authorities were looking for shell casings.

More:
http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/South/10/23/ ... index.html


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roger
roger

October 24th, 2002, 4:26 pm #3

02-531
Shenandoah National Park (VA)
Search for Suspected Sniper



On the morning of October 9, the park received a BOL (be on the lookout) message from Front Royal PD for a white box truck similar to the one associated with the recent series of sniper shootings in Maryland and Virginia. Because the vehicle had been seen near the park, employees were moved from highly public areas to safer locations. Skyline Drive and developed areas were thoroughly checked, but no sign of the truck was found. A local citizen mistakenly assumed that the search meant that the sniper was in the park, which led to some local concern and media interest. Park law enforcement staff worked with local agencies to quickly ascertain that neither the vehicle nor a suspect appeared to be in or near the park.
[Submitted by Greg Stiles, Assistant Chief Ranger]



http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/ ... %3A00%3A00


I never cease to be amazed at what is out there. This site lets you download the waypoints of victims

http://www.waypointwherehouse.com/speci ... sniper.htm

The picture above is from CNN.

And for what it's worth here's the Yahoo map for Myersville where they were picked up:
http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?BFCat= ... ap=Get+Map

It's 133 miles from Oakland, MD
http://maps.yahoo.com/py/ddResults.py?P ... Directions

58 Miles from Washington, DC
http://maps.yahoo.com/py/ddResults.py?P ... Directions

And for what it's worth, Victim #7 was shot four miles from Washington, DC's highest point:
http://maps.yahoo.com/py/ddResults.py?P ... Directions
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roger
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October 25th, 2002, 5:03 pm #4

02-531
Shenandoah National Park (VA)
Search for Suspected Sniper



On the morning of October 9, the park received a BOL (be on the lookout) message from Front Royal PD for a white box truck similar to the one associated with the recent series of sniper shootings in Maryland and Virginia. Because the vehicle had been seen near the park, employees were moved from highly public areas to safer locations. Skyline Drive and developed areas were thoroughly checked, but no sign of the truck was found. A local citizen mistakenly assumed that the search meant that the sniper was in the park, which led to some local concern and media interest. Park law enforcement staff worked with local agencies to quickly ascertain that neither the vehicle nor a suspect appeared to be in or near the park.
[Submitted by Greg Stiles, Assistant Chief Ranger]



http://data2.itc.nps.gov/morningreport/ ... %3A00%3A00
Don D. sends along a item noting the sniper rest area was within view of the foot bridge where the Appalachian Trail crosses I-70 near Exit 42. It was on the Westbound (north) side.


Here's a topo map:
The AT is on the left by Washington Monument State Park:
http://topozone.com/map.asp?lat=39.505&lon=-77.56667

Myersville Appalachian Trail on web:
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=n ... hian+trail
Last edited by dipper on October 25th, 2002, 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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roger
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October 26th, 2002, 11:04 am #5

I couldn't find other references on the web or news searches to "Stone Mountain Maryland" but I am passing along this NY Times article about the rest area:

Excepts:
At first he thought it might be an accident on the highway, at worst a hunter missing in the Catoctin Mountains. But by the time he made his way downtown and saw the hundreds of police officers and federal agents who had taken over a parking lot in front of the downtown McDonald's, Mayor Creadick said, he knew this was going to be bigger than the day the truckload of missiles toppled on nearby Interstate 70.

Shortly after 1 a.m., a truck driver and an attendant at a tree-lined rest stop atop Stone Mountain saw the Caprice.

Larry Blank, the rest stop attendant, said the sniper was the furthest thing from his mind when he drove into the lot and parked next to the Caprice. Mr. Blank said he did not notice the car until a truck driver pointed it out to him.

That driver, Ron Lantz, said he saw the car about an hour after he heard the bulletin. Following an emergency operator's instructions, Mr. Lantz said in an interview with WCPO of Cincinnati, he and another trucker blocked the rest stop's exits until the authorities arrived.

"It was a long 15 minutes," Mr. Lantz said.

"You got a lot of mountain area up here," said Howard Davis, a member of the Myersville Volunteer Fire Department. "A lot of trails and camping areas and good places to hide."

Keith Denby, 31, who works for a tree cutting company, said that in hunting season, "it wouldn't be unusual to hear gunshots around here."

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/25/natio ... r=MOREOVER
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Hojo Homnigritz
Hojo Homnigritz

October 28th, 2002, 3:41 pm #6

Not to pick too fine a nit, but I believe the
hill in question is called "South Mountain"

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