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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Two People Wounded After Sniper Fire on Virginia Highway

[Update] 3/28/08- Two teens have been arrested.

There is a manhunt in Virginia for a sniper(s) that shot and wounded two people while they were driving along the Interstate-64 highway in Albemarle County this morning. The highway was closed for over five hours.
The area between exit 118 in Charlottesville and 96 in Waynesboro were closed for over five hours after a sniper or snipers, fired on and hit five vehicles along an eleven mile stretch of the westbound section of the interstate.

The woman that was wounded was brought to Augusta County Medical Center by ambulance and the man that was hurt was able to drive himself to the hospital. Both were treated and released from the hospital.

It is not immediately clear if the wounds were from the bullets or from the shattered glass.

It is believed that there was more than one shooter and the police have identified where the shots were fired from as being The westbound offramp at the Ivy exit--mile marker 114, The overpass at Route 690 around mile marker 106 and The Virginia Department of Transportation building at Yancey Mills.

According to state police Col. Steve Flaherty, "I really don't have a good feel for how long this went on. We have evidence that it was more than one suspect."

The Albemarle County website announced the closing of the County's schools:

Albemarle County Schools will be closed today, Thursday, March 27. School officials have been in ongoing discussions with law enforcement personnel and the School Division has decided to close schools for the entire day to make sure that no students or staff are placed in any potentially dangerous circumstances while the investigation into the shootings along I-64 continues and the situation remains unresolved. Further information about the status of the schools will be announced as soon as it is available.

The Albemarle County Police Department is working jointly on this investigation with the Charlottesville Police Department, the Augusta County Sheriff's Office, the University of Virginia Police Department, the Staunton Police Department, the Virginia State Police, the U.S. Marshalls Service as well as both the FBI and ATF.

The police are asking anybody with information to please call the Virginia State Police in Charlottesville at (434) 293-3223, or the local Crime Stoppers at (434) 972-4000.

[Update] Police are following up on a possible sixth vehicle that may have been shot overnight.

Police have found shell casings about 40 feet from the VDOT vehicle that was unoccupied when it was shot up and they are being sent to the ATF lab to determine whether they came from the same gun.