20 Kansas City Highway Shootings Recall Fears of Ohio Serial Attacks

A mentally ill man in Ohio spent five months shooting at drivers in 2003.

April 14, 2014, 10:42 AM

April 14, 2014— -- One person is dead and another injured after a shooting on a Kansas City highway, the latest in a string of highway shootings that has put drivers in the region on edge this month.

Police in Kansas City, Kansas, where the shooting occurred this morning, said they believe it is an isolated incident and not part of a spate of up to 20 highway shootings that have occurred in the past month on the Missouri side of Kansas City, but are still investigating any possible connection to the other cases.

The shootings have raised fears of a serial shooter like the one who tormented drivers in Ohio in 2003 by sitting on an overpass and shooting randomly at cars as they drove by, killing one woman.

The shootings plagued the Columbus, Ohio, area for more than five months. Charles McCoy Jr. was ultimately arrested for more than two dozen shootings and initially pleaded innocent by reason of insanity. He told authorities that voices in his head made him shoot at cars and drop cement bags on them.

He eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter and 10 other charges and is serving a 27-year sentence in prison, according to reports from the time.

The Kansas City shootings also echo the randomness of the Washington, D.C., sniper attacks that occurred in 2002, when John Allen Muhammad and his friend, Lee Boyd Malvo, killed 10 people and injured three others over the course of three weeks.

The Kansas City shootings also echo the randomness of the Washington, D.C., sniper attacks that occurred in 2002, when John Allen Muhammad and his friend Lee Boyd Malvo killed 10 people and injured three others in the course of three weeks.

The shootings in Washington, Virginia and Maryland set an entire region on edge while police worked to conclusively tie the incidents and search for a suspect.

"Anytime you have a random shooter with no reason or mindset behind them that [is] just taking rounds and putting them into cars is causing a problem for everyone," said Rich Marianos, a former ATF assistant director.

Most of the shootings have occurred along stretches of Interstates 435 and 470 -- some clustered near exit ramps and interchanges-- on the Missouri side of the city. Today's shooting occurred near Interstates 70 and 635, on the Kansas side.

A law enforcement official said Kansas City police had determined that at least some of the recent shooting incidents were linked.

The official would not say how authorities were able to connect the cases. Meanwhile, K-9 teams with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives planned to return to the scenes, looking for ballistics evidence.

In addition, Kansas City police, ATF and FBI have announced a $7,000 reward for info leading to an arrest in the case.

One victim was shot at by someone firing from another car and wearing a ski mask and hood. A woman head a loud noise while she was driving home and was shocked to find a bullet hole in the door next to where her 3-year-old had been sitting.

Two people have been shot in the legs and another in the arm.

"It's really scary to think that somebody is just out here with no regard to what could happen," said Jennie Baugher, who recently found a bullet hole in her car.

Baugher said she thought she might be victim No. 14.

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