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Sniper on the Loose: Search for a Killer

Aired October 12, 2002 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Another day, another shooting confirmed to be the work of the sniper, what new information investigators are releasing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whether it's local terrorists or global terrorists, I don't want to say but, you know, it is striking terror in people's hearts.


COOPER: What advice experts are offering to handle the fear and anxiety. This is a special report, SNIPER ON THE LOOSE: SEARCH FOR A KILLER.

Good evening, I'm Anderson Cooper at the CNN Center in Atlanta. We are preempting "CNN PRESENTS" tonight for an in-depth look at the sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C. area. We'll have a detailed look at the case, the clues, and the victims but first this news alert.

The death toll from two apparent bomb blasts in Indonesia is at least 40. Officials say the nighttime explosions destroyed two nightclubs on the tourist resort island of Bali. There was a third blast about the same time near a U.S. consular office. No injuries are reported there.

The Iraqi government is repeating its pledge to allow weapons inspectors back into the country under United Nations terms. A U.N. spokesman says the Iraqis sent a new letter to clarify an earlier one which the United States called evasive, but a senior administration official dismissed the new letter accusing Iraq of playing games of denial and deception.

Kuwait's interior minister says the leader of Tuesday's attack on U.S. Marines had pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden. One marine was killed and another wounded when they came under fire during training exercises. The minister says investigators uncovered a suspected terrorist cell planning other attacks and they've arrested 15 people.

And New York City firefighters marched in the rain to an annual memorial for colleagues killed in the line of duty. Three hundred and fifty-six firefighters were remembered today, including the 343 who died in the September 11th attacks. Thousands of people attended the ceremony at Madison Square Garden.

Investigators hunting for the Washington area sniper today released their first wanted poster. It wasn't of a suspect. It was of a truck and they've confirmed an eighth deadly shooting is linked to the killer responsible for more than a week of terror. CNN's Bill Hemmer is following the investigation as he has been all day at police headquarters in Montgomery County, Maryland. Bill, what's the latest?

BILL HEMMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, good evening. In well over 10 days, this is the first firm piece of evidence that has been released to the public by way of the police here in Rockville, Maryland. It came in the form of a composite, some sort of picture that's been put together based on the eyewitness accounts of a number of witnesses who have come forward here in Montgomery County.

When this was released earlier tonight, a few distinctive characteristics about this truck you're seeing here, not only from this view, but also from the back as well. They describe the vehicle as having a roll-up door in the rear, a bumper indented back on the right side, damage to the right rear. They say it's an older truck possibly with oxidized paint, not sheen or glean.

They also describe large lettering on both sides of the van. You can see it quite clearly on the right side of your picture here, bold lettering on top and then smaller lettering just below it. But what the words say is not clear. In addition to that, there is no license tag number given as well.

Two things to keep in mind on this story, Anderson, all the witnesses who have described this truck have only been centered here in Montgomery County, nowhere else throughout the D.C. area. In addition to that, if you remember the Astro van that was talked about yesterday morning after the eighth person was killed by this sniper, ten overall victims but the eighth person killed.

They describe that Astro van. They're still on the hunt for that van tonight as we speak. Kathleen Koch is with us here as well. She now has more on what we heard from the police earlier today and also the day here at Rockville, Maryland. Good evening to you.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Bill. Well, I think this is a case of the police believing that a picture is literally worth a thousand words. Early last week, they had given us a very detailed description of this truck, but what they're hoping tonight is that this composite, this sort of graphic sketch that they've come up with from these various eyewitness recollections at various scenes in Montgomery County, they hope that it will be enough to just jog one person's memory, perhaps one crucial person who was at the site of one of these killings.


KOCH (voice-over): The long-awaited FBI composite, a sketch of the white box truck spotted near one of the Montgomery County shooting sites. CHIEF CHARLES MOOSE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICE: After working diligently with victims of this case, these are the graphics that have been prepared. We want to stress that this is a composite. It is not a photograph.

KOCH: To the south in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the expected confirmation that Friday morning's murder is linked to the previous shootings; the victim this time, 53-year-old father of six Kenneth Bridges, a Philadelphia businessman. Police are still looking for a white Chevrolet Astro style van several witnesses saw leaving the scene. They're also questioning guests at a nearby hotel and working with businesses to get better evidence if there's another shooting.

MAJOR HOWARD SMITH, SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VA SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Our crime prevention folks will be going to all the local businesses near the interstates talking with them, giving them suggestions. If they have cameras, trying to help them, show them where the camera should be pointed toward.

KOCH: Because of the shootings, football and soccer games throughout the Maryland and Virginia suburbs were canceled, playgrounds empty, businesses especially those outdoors hurting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before the shootings we made pretty good money but now just barely making out here.

KOCH: Gas stations were scenes of high anxiety.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, a little more cautious than I normally am.

KOCH: Many felt safer not in the suburbs but downtown Washington. An outdoor food festival was packed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it definitely makes me a little bit nervous but I still want to go out and have fun and be with people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the last place that somebody's going to try to get away with anything with all these police and everybody else around definitely. So, I feel fine.


KOCH: Now tips on the case continue to pour in. The reward money is now up to half a million dollars and, Bill police tonight here are hoping that this weekend like last we will have no sniper shooting. So far, our weekends have been free of that kind of violence.

HEMMER: We're now a day and a half into it if you go back to Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. when Kenneth Bridges was shot and killed down in Spotsylvania. Come back to the investigation right now in terms of the next step. We talked about the Astro van. Will we get more on that and when? And number two, with the truck composite that was put out earlier tonight, it's my understanding that they will continue to call information, and if they get it that will come out as well. KOCH: Absolutely. They have told us that they will update that graphic image that they gave us if they get more information from other witnesses at these Montgomery County scenes, and they promised us that again with this Chevy Astro style van, they had a lot of witnesses to that shooting down there. Now that people have been -- that they are very alert, that their awareness has been heightened.

With every single shooting we seem to have more and more witnesses so they're putting together another of these graphic composites, but they're being very careful. They want to take that composite, show it to every single witness who saw something and make sure everything is accurate because they want to put out the best possible picture they can to hopefully lead them to the killer.

HEMMER: And to be clear, Doug Duncan, the executive here in Montgomery County, said it is two vehicles. The composite that was put out tonight is different from the van that may or may not have been spotted yesterday.

KOCH: Correct. The only similarity is that they're both white. Now obviously, police are looking at both of them. I guess another similarity, we should point out, is that they are both the type of vehicles used to deliver things, so something obviously police are looking at is does this killer or killers work for some sort of company that does deliver items, you know, a catering company, whatever.

So, they're looking at all of that but they also want to point out witnesses, when you hear a shot, don't only look for white vehicles. The killer or killers are very capable of switching vehicles, so don't have tunnel vision.

HEMMER: That's a very interesting point. The chief took the question earlier tonight and you were standing there. He was asked whether or not if indeed you're having the public focus their attention on a white van, is it possible you're now distracting them from other evidence or other scenes that may be able to come together as evidence.

KOCH: That's a very good point and it's the point that he has been making also as to why they're not releasing a profile, and why we also think they may not be releasing some surveillance camera video that may be out there that reportedly has been shown to some of these witnesses in Virginia because they don't want people to suddenly narrow their focus to only look at a person of a certain height, a certain race, want to keep that wide open as to who the killer or killers might be.

HEMMER: In the meantime, there were countless questions again tonight, Kathleen, thanks.

KOCH: Many.

HEMMER: Kathleen Koch.

KOCH: You bet. HEMMER: In a moment here we're going to talk with a forensic psychologist about his take right now on the mind of the sniper or snipers, the mind of the killer or killers, so we'll have more on that topic when we come back momentarily; Anderson back to you.

COOPER: All right, Bill, thanks very much. I should point out also that if viewers are interested in getting a closer look at that composite that was released, it's on the CNN Web site, also on the FBI and the ATF Web sites. Thanks very much, Bill.


COOPER: Well, to try to get a better sense of the mind set of a sniper and his skill with a rifle, we are joined now by Derek Bartlett. He's a sniper with the Fort Lauderdale, Florida Police Department SWAT Unit. He's also president of the American Sniper Association and author of a book on the art of being a police sniper. Thanks very much for being with us. Do you consider this man or multiple people who is operating right now, do you consider them snipers?

DEREK BARTLETT, PRESIDENT, AMERICA SNIPER ASSN.: Not really. I mean this is a person or person who is using a long rifle, shooting from a concealed position at innocent civilians. That's not a sniper, that's a murderer.

COOPER: What is a sniper to you?

BARTLETT: A sniper in the truest sense of the word is a trained professional who acts as part of a tactical team to provide real time intelligence by putting eyes on a critical incident location and, if necessary, provide lethal cover and interdiction to a designated target if it is lawfully designated by the command post or by the sniper's own observations.

COOPER: Well, you mentioned a team. I mean, I know in the military, and I guess in the police as well, snipers usually have a partner who measures distance, things like that. Why is it important for a sniper to work with someone?

BARTLETT: To clarify when I said the sniper is part of a team, he's part of an overall tactical team. The sniper element is just a part, along with entry personnel and (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

COOPER: Right.

BARTLETT: But in the sniper team concept, there are two components. There is a sniper and an observer. They work in conjunction.

COOPER: What does the observer do?

BARTLETT: The observer provides an extra pair of eyes. He is there to provide logistical support, security, to help if anything is needed as far as radio communications or note taking. He helps with ranging targets, observations on targets, if necessary provide back-up shots.

COOPER: How long does it take to set up a shot? I mean, you're aware of the incidences that have been going on for the last 10 days or so. I mean, these kind of shots that are being taken, how long would they take to set up?

BARTLETT: That is all situational. Some shots can happen after hours of set-up and surveillance and other shots can happen within seconds of getting on scene.

COOPER: Do you think it likely though that, I mean, someone can take a shot from 100 yards away just by, you know, suddenly rolling down their window and pointing a gun outside a car? I mean it seems that these would be -- these shots would require a certain amount of set-up time.

BARTLETT: With skill and practice, it does not take all that long to line up a shot at 100 yards with a scoped rifle. It's just a matter of putting the crosshairs on your target and squeezing a trigger.

COOPER: I read one account by a sniper who said what they thought the fact that this person was using a .223 caliber bullet, they said that didn't indicate -- that indicated to them that they weren't a real sniper. They weren't former military or former police, that someone who was former military or former police might use a higher caliber. What do you think about that?

BARTLETT: That's speculation. The choice of caliber is probably personal for some reason that is known only to the shooter himself, something they'll find out when they catch him and talk to him hopefully.

COOPER: You know, I'm sure you've seen this picture of this truck that was released. Police do not know exactly how the truck was involved if it had been involved at all. I mean just theoretical, is it possible to snipe from a truck like that?

BARTLETT: It's entirely possible. It's one of the skills that is taught in several sniper schools as an alternative shooting platform.

COOPER: Why is that an alternative shooting platform?

BARTLETT: Because sometimes because of the situation it's difficult to get into a hide, an operation point that provides you the cover and concealment that you need. Sometimes it's necessary to use something like a vehicle because it will give you the height or the elevation or the location.

COOPER: Do you have any -- I mean you're an expert in snipers. When you see this what's going on, I mean what jumps out at you? Is there anything in particular that jumps out at you that someone else, a layman, might not see?

BARTLETT: No. First of all, I'm not an expert. I'm someone who knows things about sniping. What jumps out is the fact that people have instantly labeled this guy a sniper, are giving him all sorts of credit for being this super trained killer. He's not. He's just somebody who's using a long rifle, shooting from a concealed position at innocent civilians, unsuspecting targets, and killing people. He's a murderer with a long gun.

COOPER: Is what he's doing, does it require a large level of skill? I mean I'm not familiar with shooting. Is getting a shot like that at 100 yards very difficult, not so difficult?

BARTLETT: It's not too difficult. Anybody with a little bit of time and a little bit of practice on the range can learn to shoot a scoped rifle at 100 yards.

COOPER: All right. Thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate your insight this evening. Thanks very much.


COOPER: Eight lives were claimed by the sniper's bullets, eight very different people, apparently chosen at random, as they went about their business in suburban Washington. Bill Hemmer joins us now with a look at the victims.

All right, we won't be going to Bill. James D. Martin was the first victim. He was killed ten days ago, a 55-year-old program analyst killed on the evening of October 2nd in a store parking lot. He was a Civil War buff, the father of an 11-year-old boy.

The next morning, 39-year-old James L. "Sonny" Buchanan was cutting the grass at an auto mall, a self employed landscaper. He had moved to Virginia but still came back to Maryland to do work for a long time client.

Later that morning, 54-year-old Prenkumar Wallekar was filling his tank at a Mobil gas station. He had immigrated to the United States from India three decades ago and had raised two children. They are now in their 20s.

A short while later, a little more than a mile away, Salvadoran immigrant Sara Ramos was gunned down in front of a post office. The 34-year-old law student was sitting on a metal bench just reading.

Yet another victim that day, Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera pulled her minivan up to a Shell station and began to vacuum her car. A single bullet struck the 25-year-old mother of a preschooler just before 10:00 a.m.

That night, 72-year-old handyman Pascal Charlot was standing on a Washington street near the Maryland border when he became the sniper's sixth victim.

The next to die, Dean Harold Meyers, 53-year-old design engineer, he'd filled his tank at a Sunoco station in Virginia this past Wednesday night and was returning to his car when a shot rang out. And, on Friday morning, Kenneth Bridges of Philadelphia, shot at another Virginia gas station. The 53-year-old father of six and co- founder of a marketing distribution company was on a business trip. Bill Hemmer is standing by in Montgomery County -- Bill.

HEMMER: Anderson, good evening once again, and when we talk about these cases, we essentially have been looking right now at a ten-day timeline. Today is the 12th of October. The first connected incident has been the 2nd of October when a shot was fired at a nearby Michael's craft store. It hit a window. It did not hit any individual involved there.

But throughout this process, there have been a lot of questions too about the police going back and looking at previous cases that may have taken place prior to the 2nd of October. Looking into that side of the story for us tonight, here's CNN's Ed Lavandera, Ed, good evening to you.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Bill. Well about ten days ago when this news first started breaking that this D.C. sniper shooter had gone on an overnight shooting binge, if you will. There were two families here in the D.C. area who were convinced that this wasn't the first time that this sniper had gone to work.


LAVANDERA (voice-over): Arnie Zelkovitz can't escape the thought of what happened on September 14. He had just closed up his liquor store in Silver Spring, Maryland, and was walking out with one of his employees when suddenly he heard a single gunshot.

ARNIE ZELKOVITZ, OWNER, HILLANDALE BEER & WINE: And he said, "I'm hurt, I'm hurt" and then kind of twisted and he fell down.

LAVANDERA: Benny Oberoi survived the attack. He'll make a full recovery.

BENNY OBEROI, SHOOTING VICTIM: We heard a big pop noise. I didn't feel anything, didn't even recognize in my mind that it's a bullet or gunshot noise. A few seconds later, I couldn't breathe. I held my chest and I fell down.

LAVANDERA: Oberoi and Zelkovitz are convinced it was the D.C. area sniper that fired that shot three weeks before a shooting spree that made national headlines. Run down just the list of evidence and the circumstances and the similarities that make you so convinced of that.

ZELKOVITZ: Well, first it was one gunshot. It was in the back, in the torso. That's similar in most of them. We're right off the Beltway here, easy access to the Beltway.

LAVANDERA: Ballistic tests were done on a bullet fragment found at the scene. Those tests haven't been able to conclusively link the sniper to this shooting, but authorities say they're still not ruling out the possibility. (END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: Now that shooting happened at about 10:00 the night of September 14, and if you saw in the video images there, their parking lot seemed to be rather full, but at that time it was much less full at that point. But there were several people round, including an off duty police officer at the time and there was a cab driver nearby, as well as some other shoppers who were in that shopping center as well.

But, Bill, as both families say, nobody was able to get a look at who might have fired that shot or where the shot might have come from. And one other note to pass along from both families that were involved in this shooting that they haven't been getting much information from the authorities investigating this case, just the information that we were able to pass along in that report that, while they do not have the ballistic evidence to prove that it is directly related, they're not ruling out the possibility, but at this point both families sure would like to know for sure one way or the other -- Bill.

HEMMER: And just to follow-up on the Ed, and I think the point about the overall investigation perhaps is this, if indeed they can confirm a connection there, have you been able to ascertain whether or not it could contribute to this investigation and perhaps it would take it in way or the other to get more clues?

LAVANDERA: Well, you know as you know the authorities here have been so tight lipped about the cases that we actually do know about that to speculate at this point on what they might be thinking about this particular case would be very difficult to know, and on top of that, these families say that they're getting very little information, have had very little contact with the investigators who have been working that particular shooting.

What they do say is that they think that all of the evidence of the shooting just points to it. They said that the morning, last Thursday morning when the news was first breaking that these shooting had actually happened that they were absolutely convinced the very moment they were hearing the news that the circumstances surrounding this case were just way too similar to the stories that we've been hearing over the last 11 days.

HEMMER: It causes a lot of us to second guess a lot of things so far. Ed thanks, Ed Lavandera again live here tonight in Rockville, Maryland. In a moment, Dr. Maurice Godwin is a man who studied well over a hundred serial killers in American history. We'll talk with the doctor as our coverage continues live in Rockville, Maryland.


HEMMER: Welcome back to Rockville, Maryland. We continue to look in-depth about this sniper, the serial sniper that has essentially plagued and in some way paralyzed this entire region. In fact, there were 1,000 soccer games scheduled in Montgomery County alone today. All were wiped off the slate and that's just the very beginning of the precautions that people have taken throughout this area this weekend.

No shootings in the past day and a half. It has been well noted that the serial sniper took last weekend off, essentially no shootings to report of on last Saturday and Sunday. Will that be a repeat pattern? It's entirely too early to know that right now. We're not even at the halfway point for this weekend now.

Let's talk more about serial killers though. Our next guest has studied well over 100 American serial killers, 107 cases to be exact. Dr. Maurice Godwin is our guest from Raleigh, North Carolina, a criminal psychologist, and doctor thanks for your time tonight, really appreciate it.


HEMMER: I don't know what you can say right now about the cases that we've been talking about ten, eight dead, two others wounded and the other research you have done. But in a general sense, do you find similarities in the other cases that directly relate to this one?

GODWIN: Yes, I do. I was on CNN Monday and I've kept repeating over and over that there's two things I've always said that there was two individuals I believe that's involved in these killings. Also that there's a directional biased in the crimes from Montgomery County, Maryland down towards Fredericksburg in the shape of a wedge, and I said -- I've been saying all along that I feel that there's a northern Virginia link to these crimes.

And then suddenly, we saw Friday morning, you know another murder at the gas station in the northern Virginia area, and really the pattern here that's developing is really special, the special behavior of the sniper killer, and I'll refer to him as the I-95 killer because he is definitely using the artery of 95 to get in and out and to commit his crimes.

HEMMER: OK, let me stop you. You brought up a number of good points here. First of all, do you believe this is a serial killer, or do you buy into the theory that it could be terrorism or terrorist in the classic sense?

GODWIN: No. I don't think it has any terrorist ties like international. In regards to serial, the word serial killer, it's really the killing of three or more individuals with a cooling off period that's longer than this individual has demonstrated. So actually, this killer is referred to in the definitional sense as a spree killer.

HEMMER: OK, that's the first point. The northern Virginia link, what is your point with that, doctor?

GODWIN: Well, my research on 54 American serial killers who killed 540 victims, I looked at their special behavior and 80 percent of the offenders the crimes formed a distinct wedge shape with the average angle being about 45 to 50 degree angle. Of the 80 percent, 51 percent -- well, first of all 80 percent of the offenders lived, their home bases fell within the wedge.

Of the 80 percent, 51 percent fell at in and around the sharp point, sort of like a piece of pie or an ice cream cone, and that point in this case is in Fredericksburg, so that's the reason why. Now he did throw me off a little bit when he went down or they went down I-66 and committed the murder.

HEMMER: Hang on, doctor.


HEMMER: I want to follow you here. Define this wedge theory of yours.


HEMMER: I understand what you're setting up geographically, but where does it fall in line in terms of making logic and sense out of this?

GODWIN: Well, what it does is he's following his normal day -- he's learned this special bias based on his travel patterns when he's not offending, and that's essentially what he's doing. He's using 95 or he used 95 to go up to the Beltway, cut to the right, go around and all his crimes are to the right of the Beltway and it sort of a looks like a balloon with a string hanging down and so...

HEMMER: What does that indicate to you then, doctor? What does that tell you?

GODWIN: That tells me that most likely his home base is within the lower part of the wedge which is demonstrated on my Web site around Dale City down in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area.

HEMMER: OK when you say home base, do you mean that's where he lives, where he works, or what?

GODWIN: I'd suggest that either he lives there or he's got a strong connection there. I think what he's done, when he did the first five murders in the cluster, I think he did that -- he knows the area, or they know the area well up there.

HEMMER: Right.

GODWIN: But I think they did that and as they're growing more confident, they're moving closer in to their home base or his home base as did my serial killer research. As they grow more confident that they're not going to be caught, they think they're getting more clever, they move in closer to the point and I think that's where you start seeing the crimes getting committed closer to Fredericksburg like Friday. Now there's one area that he has not committed a crime yet and that's...

HEMMER: Where's that?

GODWIN: That's east. That's east of Fredericksburg where Highway 17 intersects U.S. 301.

HEMMER: All interesting stuff, interesting theories. I know you've done your research but how it all fits into this right now is still a wide open question right now.

GODWIN: Well you can go to...

HEMMER: Go ahead, doctor, further comment.

GODWIN: If you log onto my Web site, which we demonstrated last night on CNN at, there's a link there and you can see exactly what I'm talking about.

HEMMER: Thank you, doctor, Dr. Maurice Godwin, Raleigh, North Carolina.

GODWIN: Thank you very much.

HEMMER: Appreciate your time tonight.

GODWIN: Thank you very much.

HEMMER: OK, pal, here's Anderson again at the CNN Center.

COOPER: Well, Bill, as you know there is another story that we have been following for the last couple of hours. Two explosions have rocked the island of Bali in Indonesia. We're going to have a live report from the island of Bali coming up right after this break.


COOPER: Welcome back. Two explosions have rocked the Indonesian island of Bali, one killing more than 58 people in a popular tourist area and another near the U.S. Consulate. CNN's Atika Shubert joins us now by phone with the latest. Atika, I take it you are in Kuta. What is the latest there?

ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I am in Bali. I've just arrived. The latest we've heard is more than 50 dead, possibly 58 people have died. What we do know is that the majority appear to be tourists that were visiting the resort island here. This is a very popular tourist destination for many people, particularly Australians and quite a few Americans also do travel through here.

Now if this does turn out to be a bomb and police and diplomats have told us that they believe this was a coordinate bomb attack, then this would be an example of certain what appears to be a terrorist attack targeting specifically foreigners in Indonesia and this is something that police have said that they were hoping to avoid for a long time here in Indonesia.

There have been threats in the past, security threats, particularly to the U.S. Embassy but this, if it does turn out to be a bomb, again will be the first time it has targeted tourists in particular -- Anderson. COOPER: Well, Atika, I've spent a fair amount of time on that island and I mean if you're going to target a place, you really could not pick a more perfect place if you're looking for foreigners. I mean as you said it's very popular, especially the Kuta Beach area, very popular among Australians, among Americans, and really not a lot of security forces there, not a lot of police, not a lot of government infrastructure.

SCHUBERT: No. It is in fact pretty easy to come into Bali. It's, as you said, a pretty easygoing place, very relaxed, very easy for tourists to come into, and the night spot that they chose, the Sari Club, 11:00 at night was packed with tourists. There was a rugby tournament in town. Quite a few of them were actually only a couple of yards away from the blast site. So, in terms of picking a target and choosing particularly a target that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) foreigners this was indeed an ideal target -- Anderson.

COOPER: Now we're being told there was also a blast north of Kuta in Denpasar, which is the capitol of Bali near the U.S. Consulate. Do you know anything about that at this hour?

SCHUBERT: Yes. We can confirm there was a blast about 50 meters away from the U.S. Consulate. That was a homemade bomb that went off. No one was injured in that blast and minimal damage, but it did occur almost the same time that this larger blast happened in Kuta which certainly seems to suggest to police that this could have been a coordinated bomb attack.

COOPER: All right, we will obviously be following the story. Atika Schubert you've just arrived on the island, we're going to let you get back to news gathering and we'll hope to check in with you later tonight. Thanks very much Atika.

Tonight, the sniper task force released a composite photograph of a white box type truck they are trying to find in connection with the string of fatal sniper shootings in Metropolitan Washington. The composite was created based on information provided by witnesses at shooting scenes in Montgomery County where five of the victims were killed. Now if you want to, you can see the composite photos of the truck on our Web site,

As the search for the Washington area sniper continues, we're going to take a moment to focus on the victims. The most recent of course was Friday morning at a gas station near Fredericksburg, Virginia. Like the other victims, 53-year-old Kenneth Bridges was killed by a single gunshot. Bridges lived in Pennsylvania and was the father of six children. He was the co-founder of a marketing distribution company. A friend spoke on behalf of the Bridges family.


GARY SHEPHERD, FAMILY SPOKESMAN: Kenneth Harold Bridges, a long time resident of Philadelphia was the victim of the latest fatal sniper shooting this morning in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Ken stopped at a gas station to refuel his vehicle while on his way back to Philadelphia when the attack occurred. The family and friends are understandably shocked and saddened by this senseless event.


COOPER: Two days before Kenneth Bridges was killed, Dean Meyers of Gaithersburg, Maryland was shot as he filled up his car at a Manassas, Virginia gas station. Like Bridges, he was just 53 years old. His brother Bob talked to CNN what he'll remember most about his brother Dean.


BOB MEYERS, SNIPER VICTIM'S BROTHER: He was Uncle Dean to everyone from below my generation, you know, and pretty far down and out with respect to other people's kids that weren't even related. You know, it was just Uncle Dean, you know and he would be the one with the big gifts at Christmastime. He was the one that would bring the fireworks to the July 4th gathering at the house, my parents' house. We would have picnics on most of the summer holidays and he would be involved in organizing that. He was just a real giving, active, kind individual.

One story that's come out recently that we just heard from an attorney was that he was involved as the executor of two estates of elderly women in the D.C. area, one of which was a distant relative and another one was her best friend, and they are in their 90s and you know there was a lot to do. And the reason why one of those estates is still open was because he had told the attorney that the executor's fee that was designated was just too much, and he didn't want to take that, and what they were trying to do was determine what charity to send it to. So, you know, it just kind of gives a flavor of the kind of man that he was.

A lot of times when people die, you know, they become a little bit bigger than life you know in the stories. You know, if you were kind of kind you were really kind, you know, that kind of things. But what I'm saying about Dean is really accurate. He just was that way. He loved his job.

He made the statement to somebody that was around this table last night, we had about 25 family members here, and he said he just loved his job and he really couldn't think of retirement. You know, it just, it wasn't on the radar screen as far as an interest of his.

He enjoyed sports as both a fan and a participant. He liked the professional teams in Philadelphia. We'd follow them. A little story I just thought of just now is that in 1964 when the Phillies lost the pennant and I mean big time it was like ten games, you know, that they lost in a row or something.

I remember that he would sit in the kitchen and we had knobs on all the cabinets and drawers and they were threaded on and he would get so excited about what was going on that he would take all the knobs off and he had them all laid out and then he'd put them all back on again. You know, he just had to be doing something with his hands while he was, you know, so excited with his mind. And recently, he went with some of the family members to Fenway Park. I think they were going to knock it down or something. He went to watch the Yankees recently, took kids to Cooperstown, just a lot of things like that. He also enjoyed the outdoors. He liked going to the beach. He recently was with friends down at Outer Banks, actually in the beginning of September.

He was a canoeist. He would do overnight commute trips with friends down there. He would hike with us and them. He was a bike rider and he enjoyed photography. He was a Civil War buff. He did a lot of historical visits with us and others. So he was a well rounded guy.

He also played piano and it was interesting that when he was wounded in Vietnam, his arm was limp and his hand was useless and through some surgery they readjusted, realigned some tendons and got some healing going of nerves and things and he was actually able to not only play sports and life and what not but on top of that, he was able to play the piano again which was quite amazing with the dexterity that you need with your fingers.


COOPER: Ten people shot, eight of them killed. We remember them all tonight. So imagine trying to go on with your life as normal, as investigators search for a killer in your midst. That, of course, is a reality for many residents of Maryland, D.C., and Virginia. Coming up, we'll hear how communities are coping with the uncertainty. Stay with us.


HEMMER: Welcome back to Rockville, Maryland as our coverage continues, SNIPER ON THE LOOSE: THE SEARCH FOR A KILLER, day 10 now, 10 complete victims, eight shot and killed, two others wounded and the search again continues, a rather elusive search for the killer who's roaming this area.

And now, how do the people feel? Hamil Harris is a staff writer of "The Washington Post" and he's been scouring the community for the past several days and joins us live tonight to talk about his reflections and what you're picking up. Good evening to you.


HEMMER: What is your sense right now about quality of life for the people you talk to?

HARRIS: I mean this issue, this shooting has attacked this community at its core. I mean a person -- children can't walk into a school escorted by a parent, when footballs players can't practice outside, when a person can't even pump gas, I mean you know something is going -- shopping, I mean these attacks have happened in the middle of the day, you know 50 yards from one police officer and you still can't catch the person. People feel hunted across this community from Maryland to D.C. and Virginia. When I'm talking to people it's like a horror movie that doesn't have a commercial. I mean people want down time and they're not getting it.

HEMMER: So tell me this then, how is the behavior changed as a result of this case?

HARRIS: I mean, I think people are taking stock in the basics of walking out of the house. I know for my family, people are looking around, going to a gas station something that used to be automatic, people, you see people, women crouched down, you know people sitting in their seats scared to take the nozzle out of the gas tank.

I will never forget going to the Exxon station where the gentleman was killed yesterday and seeing that nozzle still poked into his car. It wasn't an outside gas tank. It was inside the island. I mean this sniper was able to get in the inside of a gas station in the middle of the day and create fear.

HEMMER: The truck, the composite that was released earlier tonight.

HARRIS: Right.

HEMMER: Does that help people?

HARRIS: I think people -- it almost leads to more frustration. I mean we as reporters want to know as much information as possible. They released a composite of a white truck. In Washington, D.C. there are thousands of white trucks with racks and stuff. How many white vehicles, I mean, workers, community people, everyone use this. So again, it only adds -- begs for more questions.

HEMMER: When people talk to you, do they express a sense of frustration? Do they say, you know, the police are doing the best job they can? Do they say we need more information and we need more facts, or do they say maybe the police do not have those facts right?

HARRIS: The bottom line people are afraid. People are just scared. I mean it's beyond frustration. People want to know not only what the police are doing but what can the police, what can they do? What can they do? I mean they're talking about is this guy a marksman? Is he some former military official? I guess people want police to do something but they're questioning their ability to get this done because they don't know. This is unchartered waters here.

HEMMER: That's exactly right. You said you went out to a football game today.

HARRIS: Right.

HEMMER: And you were happy that you actually found a football game (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

HARRIS: This is way out in Howard County between Baltimore and Washington. The parents decided to have this football game. The school officials said if you want a game and you know if your child can play, we'll let them play, and what happened is people were just so happy to have something normal, to see kids laugh. But again, people are looking over their shoulders at the same time.

HEMMER: You've been on the beat in the D.C. area, what, 15 years?

HARRIS: About 15 years, ten years at The Washington Post.

HEMMER: You've covered a lot of big stories, right?

HARRIS: A lot of stories.

HEMMER: How does this rank right now in terms of the impact on the people who live here?

HARRIS: I think this drives right at home because, again, people don't see the end. People are very concerned because, again, it's not like you know 9/11 is scary but we had resolution. We had healing. Right now, this is not over. The people are concerned because we don't know what's the next step.

HEMMER: That's right. We could be in the middle of it and we could be near the end.

HARRIS: Right.

HEMMER: We could be still at the very beginning.

HARRIS: We just don't know.

HEMMER: That's right. Hamil, thanks, Hamil Harris, a staff writer with "The Washington Post," thanks again for your time.

HARRIS: Thank you.

HEMMER: More when we get it. Let's go back to the CNN Center. Now here's Anderson once again.

COOPER: All right, thanks, Bill. A Tarot card found at the site of one of the sniper shootings. Coming up what experts and investigators say this possible clue may or may not mean, all that and much, much more when our CNN special report SNIPER ON THE LOOSE: THE SEARCH FOR A KILLER continues.


COOPER: Welcome back. Serial killers have, of course, been known to taunt police by leaving messages at crime scenes and the Beltway sniper might be following that pattern. Investigators found a tarot card at the scene of Monday's shooting in a middle school. It apparently bore the handwritten message: "Mr. Policeman, I am God." CNN's Wolf Blitzer looks now at what the card might signal.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Police have still not determined whether a tarot card found near the scene of Monday's shooting at a middle school was actually left by the D.C. area sniper. Do we have a signature killer on our hands? Authorities aren't sure.

There have been signature killers in modern American history. The Son of Sam, David Berkowitz, and the Zodiac Killer in California corresponded with police and journalists during their killing sprees but what about the tarot card? It carries its own mystique.

DAVID RODIER: You could use them for any sort of game you wanted, although they aren't normally now used for that. They were centuries ago. Now they're primarily a sort of occult, new age fortune telling.

BLITZER: Tarot cards are supposed to decipher events in one's life, to predict the future or to symbolize something. A card reader lays them out on a table after shuffling them, then starts to interpret them based on where they're laid out. But tarot cards can be interpreted in many different ways. The death card, like the one found near the middle school Monday, often doesn't even mean death.

RODIER: It's not in most of the occult versions, not usually thought of as bad or negative, although it can have that meaning too, but it doesn't -- it means change and breaking out of a particular routine into something new.

BLITZER: Most experts trace the history of tarot cards back to the 1300s and believe they were created by European gypsies. They're not just some oddball prop from the worlds of voodoo and cults, but they've been stereotyped as such in movies like the James Bond film "Live and Let Die."

RODIER: In popular cultures since the '60s they've been fairly standard symbolism in things like rock music album covers.

BLITZER: Wolf Blitzer, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: While a junior high school copes with the sniper shooting far too close to home, coming up, Serena Altschul sits down with parents and students of Benjamin Tasker Middle School. Stay with us.


COOPER: Welcome back to this special report. The terror and anxiety has left much in its wake of course. Events like homecoming activities, SATs, sporting events have all been canceled. Some students and parents who live in the area shared their feelings and their anxiety with CNN's Serena Altschul.


SERENA ALTSCHUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One way people are calming anxieties caused by the shootings is by getting together to talk. I sat down with a few families whose kids are schoolmates with the 13-year-old boy shot at Tasker Middle School.

PATTI SAPP, PARENT: It was personal because this is the place our children spend six hours a day, and it might as well have been in our living room is the way I felt because it was right there at the entrance of the school where our children walk every day.

ALTSCHUL: Can you articulate any other things that you might have been feeling, Patrick, that you know your mom was referring to before like that you were a little angry at home and you know?

PATRICK GERDING, STUDENT: I was just curious why the guy would go around and shoot people for no reason. I was scared because I didn't know who he was going to shoot next and I was angry too that somebody is going to hide and shoot somebody. He's a coward.

ALTSCHUL: Are you looking over your shoulder thinking twice about taking that walk, maybe not going here or there?

HEATHER COHN, PARENT: There's a lot of apprehension. Your daily life is disrupted. I need to get gas in my car and I thought twice about it today, you know. I thought do I really want to stand still long enough to put gas in my van?

MAUREEN DOUGLAS, PARENT: I think it shattered our sense of security and that comfort that we experience here.

BRANDON BUCKNER, STUDENT: We have this window in our house and there's like not a curtain by it or anything and like when I walk by there, I'm kind of scared. I don't know if anybody is out there because we got like a wooded area, so.

ALTSCHUL: How has this sort of changed your experiences on a daily basis now?

HEIDI GERDING, PARENT: I won't allow them right now to play football outside with the neighbors. I won't allow them to shoot baskets in the driveway unless I'm home because God forbid somebody came by and did something and there's not an adult there to take care of them if there were a situation.

P. GERDING: I just hope that they can catch him because he's taking away people's daily activities, like I like to go outside and play basketball and throw the football around at the school and I just hope that they can catch him soon.

ANDREW GERDING, STUDENT: Today I went over to a friend's house inside to play some games but before I went over there to walk over there, I had a friend come up so he could walk with me to the house, just to be more cautious so we can look around and see if anybody's there because he's been shooting them from real far away so we don't know if we can see him or not when he shoots us.

DOUGLAS: I understand now that the homecoming activities are pretty much canceled but we are pretty much determined that we wouldn't have our little ones out there. Our game was going to be at seven at night and it just wasn't worth taking the risk that someone would be out there on that field and injure, you know, one of our little girls or one of our players.

ALTSCHUL: What now, you know? Where do you guys go from here now? What do you do to move forward?

SAPP: That's a hard question. We live our lives with the understanding that there are things in this world that can harm us but we can't let that stop us from living our lives.

COHN: Do something to make it better. Take an interest. Meet your neighbors, you know, just little things like that can make a huge difference in the way your community feels and the security.

DOUGLAS: I need to know why, why did you have to kill these people? Why did you have to almost kill this young man that's 13 years old and just beginning his life? The State of Maryland is paralyzed because we don't know, you know, where he's going to hit next. Our children's lives are changed.

ALTSCHUL: Serena Altschul, CNN.


COOPER: There's really a lot of fear out there. We're joined now just for some final thoughts from Bill Hemmer who's in Montgomery County. Bill, you've been working this story for a couple days now. As this day comes to a close, what are your thoughts?

HEMMER: You know, the chief earlier today, not in the second news briefing, Anderson, but the first one early this morning described it as a complex investigation. That's an understatement and nothing really attests to that more than this graphic they put out by this truck earlier today. No license tag given, lettering on the side of the truck, but even then they don't even know what it said on the side of the truck. It really points to the fact that they have so few facts right now and for the people living here that's the frustrating part. I'll see you again in about an hour, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Bill Hemmer thanks very much. That wraps up this hour's CNN Special Report SNIPER ON THE LOOSE, THE SEARCH FOR A KILLER. Join us again at 10:00 p.m. for another special report as we follow this developing story. "LARRY KING" is next.


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