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October 07, 2002

There's been another shooting in

There's been another shooting in Maryland, at a school. The teen shot is in critical condition There's a strong indication in the news stories that the sniper is back. This would seem to rule out most scenarios other than a spree killer or terrorism, if the shooting is tied to the 7 previous ones.

Other coverage;
Police fear Maryland sniper has struck again
Schoolboy Shot in Wash Suburb, Sniper Link Mulled
Child shot in Maryland suburb in same general area where sniper killed 5

Update: I imagine this will shut the schools down for the day, if not longer. If this is tied to the other murders, I figure at least some parents will refuse to send their kids back to school until this guy is caught. I blogged about a terrorist attack on daycare centers a while back, and some of the economic consequences that might occur. Michelle, of a small victory, pointed out that the same thing could happen if schools were attacked. The only bright side to this is, if it is determined to be a terrorist attack, it's not coordinated at all, which would indicate that we have put a hurting on in-country AL-Qaeda. Three or four of theses guys around the country would wreak damage all out out of proportion to their actual numbers.

Update: Yahoo says the shooter is being profiled as a thrill seeker. Cut on the Bias developed a profile last week. I haven't compared them yet

CNN is updating this story about every 5 minutes. There are reports of shots fired at a nearby shopping center.

Update: Newsday talks about geographic profiling in its coverage of the shootings.

Police have begun to use a geographic profile submitted by investigators that uses crime locations to determine where the killer feels comfortable traveling and may live. Moose said police also were awaiting an FBI psychological profile of the shooter.

Geographic profiling is a fairly new investigative tool, used first in 1990 in Canada, said Kim Rossmo, who compiled the latest profile and is director of research for the Police Foundation, a nonprofit research organization.

If a series of rapes, for example, occurs over a 10-square-mile area, geographic profiling can often narrow the area in which the attacker is likely to live to within half a square mile, Rossmo said.

The purpose of the tool is to determine "if there is a pattern there," Rossmo said. "If we can understand the pattern, we can decode it."

No one has mentioned that it might be a copycat killer as well. There's no evidence for that theory, of course, but there is precious little evidence of anything.

Update: The Star-Tribune reports that the reported shootings at a shopping center were in fact at a Wal-Mart, but that police have not found any victims.
Police also investigated a report of a shooting this morning at a Wal-Mart near the school. But Cpl. Robert Clark of the Prince George's County police department said officers could not find anyone who had been shot and there was no evidence of a shooting there. Officers remained at the scene and were still investigating, he said.

Update: Fox News has a map with the new incident added. I've been looking at it, in case the shooter is trying to draw a picture on a wide scale, something akin to what the smiley-face bomber did. So far it looks like it could be either a "W" (political) or a pyramid (just plain nuts). Yes, I realize I'm reaching.

Update: The Sky Blog also posts about the economic consequences of an terrorist attack on schools

Think about it - a major goal of the attacks of 9/11 were to cripple our economy. They did some damage, but Americans have been resolute and recovery has been slow but sure. Think about what would happen if these types of "urban warfare" attacks started happening in major cities simultaneously. Parents would not send their children to schools, meaning they would not go to work. Many people wouldn't go to work in places that could be considered "easy targets." People wouldn't be going to malls, Wal-Marts, gas stations, etc. Think about what that would do to the economies of those cities. They could achieve a virtual work stoppage and a virtual stop to consumption of goods and services. What would it take for you to keep your kid home from school and call into work?

Instapundit agrees with him that it feels like terrorism. I dunno. I'm still leaning towards spree killing nutjob, if only because I would expect a terrorist attack to be better coordinated. Either way, this will continue until someone catches this guy in the act. Both types aren't going to leave much in the way of a trail of clues.

Update: I don't know how long it will last, but Google news has a thumbnail picture of what looks like it might be a picture of the teenage victim, linked to a story on the shooting from WMAR. The picture on Google doesn't appear in the story, which makes me wonder if someone yanked it from the site after they realized that they had identified the victim before they are allowed to. Since he is a minor, that could lead to all kinds of repercussions.

Update: The thumbnail has been removed from the Google news site, though it still exists on the Google servers. After considerable thought, compressed into about a 30 second timespan, I'm not going to link to it.

Posted by Bigwig at October 7, 2002 09:45 AM | TrackBack
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