Alexandria, Va., authorities today said the fatal shooting of a music teacher in February may be linked to two other fatal shootings, signaling that a serial killer could be at work in the Washington, D.C., suburb.
Forensic work on the small-caliber bullets involved in each case found that they had the same general characteristics and were similar in design, police said today. However, police could not say they came from the same gun.
"The similarities and unusual nature of all three shootings occurring in Alexandria required the police department to consider the possibility that all the cases are linked together," Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook said.
In February, longtime neighborhood piano teacher Ruthanne Lodato was fatally shot in broad daylight when she answered a knock at the door.
In November, local transportation official Ronald Kirby was gunned down in his home.
Ten years ago, real estate agent Nancy Dunning, the wife of the sheriff at the time, was shot and killed in her home.
Lodato and the other two victims were involved in their community, were killed in broad daylight and were within two miles of each other when they died.
There was no forced entry in any of the three shootings.
Police said they have gotten more than 500 tips and were getting assistance from the FBI.
Authorities have released a sketch of a bearded and balding man they said they were seeking in connection with the crime. There have been no arrests.