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Police Developing Sketch of West Virginia Sniper
Aired August 20, 2003 - 19:12 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We move on now to other news.
Officials in West Virginia say two of the three recent sniper shootings appear to be drug related. It also appears the same weapon may have been used in all three shootings last week.
Our Jeanne Meserve is in Charleston, where she's been putting together today's developments with the latest.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, sources inside the investigation tell CNN's Art Harris that they're working on a composite sketch of an individual seen near the scenes of one of the shootings.
Now, separate sources tell me that this individual was not seen the night of the shooting of the -- at the speedway in Campbell's Creek, but he was seen several times in the days leading up to that shooting stand near a truck like the one authorities are searching for.
He's described as 6 feet tall, trim and with a beard. A sketch artist, as I said, is working on a composite of him. I'm told a separate composite has been done of a heavy-set man who was seen by another witness at a separate shooting location.
Let me say I am just talking to a city official here. He is expressing a little bit of skepticism about this report, but this is what we have heard from other sources inside the investigation.
Meanwhile, other important developments in the case.
MESERVE (voice-over): Two of the three shootings are now definitively linked by ballistics.
CHIEF DEP. PHIL MORRIS, KANAWHA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: The shooting at Campbell's Creek and Cedar Grove are definitely linked, came from the same gun, probably a .22 rifle.
MESERVE: Authorities now say a dark Ford F-150 extended cab truck like this one was spotted at both of those shooting scenes. Wednesday they distributed an animation, hoping for leads that will take them to the truck and its driver. In light of new information from family members and community residents, the Kanawha County sheriff say the shootings appear to be drug related, though other possibilities have not been eliminated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it a sniper? Is it a copycat? Is it a drive by? We don't know.
MESERVE: The very first shooting took place four days before the others and still has not been linked ballistically.
As a dark truck was not spotted at that scene by witnesses or surveillance cameras, according to the Charleston police chief. The Charleston chief is less convinced than the sheriff the shootings are linked to drugs. At the tire shop where Gary Carrier, the first victim, used to work, former coworkers find drugs an unlikely explanation.
STEVE PENDLETON, VICTIM'S CO-WORKER: I think people that deal in that, they exude money. You see that coming out. That wasn't the case with Gary. If you look at the vehicle he drove, you look at the life-style he lived, no it wasn't there.
KAGAN: And Jeanne, while I have you here I just want to get back to this idea of this original description being so different than what they might be working on now. Tall and slender or short and wide; that doesn't seem too focused on the type of suspect they're looking for?
MESERVE: No, it doesn't. And, of course, they'd rather have more information than less information, but you never know if this is a red herring or not. They're not going to be able to figure that out until they crack the case, and they obviously haven't done that yet. Although the sheriff's department is still expressing some optimism that they will close the case in the days to come -- Daryn.
KAGAN: Jeanne Meserve in Charleston, West Virginia, Jeanne, thank you for that.
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