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Old October 23rd, 2002, 01:08 PM
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Question Is the Beltway Sniper Really the Metro Sniper?

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2002 11:30 a.m. EDT
Is the Beltway Sniper Really the Metro Sniper?

The deadly D.C.-area sniper has journeyed full circle back to the Maryland suburbs where the senseless rampage began on Oct. 2.

But the latest sniper attack did not occur near a handy vehicle escape route, as has been the case in other shootings. Montgomery County Police Chief Charles A. Moose said he was not issuing alerts for any particular types of vehicles - white vans or trucks, or people - olive-skinned or otherwise.

Following the all too familiar pattern, however, police rapidly set up checkpoints on nearby roads. Rush hour traffic between suburban Maryland and the District was all but halted, as police concentrated mainly on checking out male drivers.

Although the police/taskforce post-shooting modus operandi is certainly not fully disclosed or known to the public or the media, there was no mention by police authorities or the media of the latest shooting’s proximity to the Glenmont Metro station.

With the shoulder piece of the suspected AR-15 rifle telescoped down and the weapon hidden under a jacket, the killer may have made his escape in a novel way – journeying on foot to the Metro, the D.C.-area’s subway system, which unlike the adjacent roads, continued to run without interruption.

In short order, the killer could have ridden the Metro to Metro Center in downtown Washington, D.C., transferring perhaps to the Orange Line – to emerge ultimately in distant Vienna, Va., far from any roadblocks or inquisitive police and citizenry.

Recently, and particularly since the alleged false reporting of a witness at the scene of the Falls Church, Va. shooting, police have been warning that undue attention to one type of vehicle could cause potential witnesses to overlook other potentially important clues.

Undue attention to one mode of transportation may also be the kiss of death.

Notably, the first five shootings also occurred in areas served by the Metro subway system – as indicated in the timeline below. The latest shooting is back under the Metro subway umbrella – as indicated in the last timeline entry that records the slaying of the hapless bus driver.
  • 5:20 p.m. Oct. 2: Window shot out in Aspen Hill, Md. (Metro)
  • 6:04 p.m. Oct. 2: Man killed in Wheaton, Md. (Metro)
  • 7:41 a.m. Oct. 3: Man killed in White Flint, Md. (Metro)
  • 8:12 a.m. Oct. 3: Man killed in Rockville, Md. (Metro)
  • 8:37 a.m. Oct. 3: Woman killed in Silver Spring, Md. (Metro)
  • 9:58 a.m. Oct. 3: Woman killed in Kensington, Md.
  • 9:15 p.m. Oct. 3: Man killed in Washington, D.C.
  • 2:30 p.m. Oct. 4: Woman wounded in Spotsylvania County, Va.
  • 8:09 a.m. Oct. 7: Boy wounded in Bowie, Md.
  • 8:15 p.m. Oct. 9: Man killed in Manassas, Va.
  • 9:30 a.m. Oct. 11: Man killed in Spotsylvania County, Va.
  • 9:15 p.m. Oct. 14: Woman killed in Falls Church, Va. (Metro)
  • 8 p.m. Oct. 19: Man wounded in Ashland, Va.
  • 6 a.m. Oct. 22: Man fatally wounded in Aspen Hill, Md. (Metro)

The Glenmont Metro station is festooned with security cameras, as are all Metro subway stations. Perhaps there is footage of a man hurrying, walking a bit stiffly, and "acting strangely,” as Chief Moose so often describes.

You can park your white van or truck all day at the Glenmont station parking lot for $2.25. There are security cameras there as well.

There is even handy bus service from the scene of the shooting at Connecticut Ave. and Grand Pre Rd. to the Glenmont station via Ride-on bus # 26, which can make the trip, according to the online guide, in mere minutes. According to the schedule, the Ride-on bus leaves Grand Pre and Connecticut at 6:30 a.m. (shooting was about 6:15 a.m.) and arrives at the Glenmont station at 6:52 a.m. (There are stops along the way that consume time.)

Don’t want to chance a bus ride? It’s an easy walk.

Once at the Glenmont station, a subway leaves at 6:31 a.m., arriving at Metro Center downtown at 6:58 a.m. By 7:21 a.m., the shooter would be arriving in distant Vienna, Va., the other side of the Potomac River.

There’s reasonable all-day parking at the Vienna Metro station as well, and it’s real handy to Route 66, another corridor favored by the shooter.

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