Sniper Investigation Timeline

ByABC News

Oct. 24, 2002 -- Following is a timeline of the events that led to the arrests of John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo in connection with the recent sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C., area.

Oct. 3By the end of the second day of the sniper rampage, six people have been shot and killed in suburban Maryland and Washington, D.C. After the sixth victim is gunned down on a Washington street, witnesses report seeing a dark-colored Chevrolet leaving the scene at a high rate of speed.

Oct. 4The sniper shoots and wounds a woman in Spotsylvania, Va.

Oct. 7The sniper shoots and wounds a 13-year-old boy outside his school in Bowie, Md., apparently leaving a Tarot card at the scene.

Oct. 8Baltimore police stop a vehicle driving erratically in the early morning. The driver identified himself as John Muhammad; John Lee Malvo is also in the car. A background check indicated Muhammad had no outstanding warrants, and he was allowed to proceed.

Oct. 9-19The sniper kills three people and wounds one in Virginia.

Oct. 17A man authorities believe to be one of the suspects calls the Montgomery County, Md., police and tells them to investigate a recent robbery and fatal shooting in Alabama.

Oct. 18 A clergyman in Ashland, Va., receives a phone call from a man who says he knows who killed a woman shot by the sniper in Falls Church, Va., on Oct. 14.

The man also mentions a shooting in Montgomery, Ala. and quotes from the tarot card found near the Maryland school where the sniper shot a 13-year-old boy on Oct. 7.

The caller told the cleric to write down the phrase, "Dear Mr. Policeman — call me God. Do not release to the press."

Oct. 19Deeply concerned, the clergyman calls police after learning of another sniper shooting, at a restaurant in Ashland, Va.

Oct. 20Investigators contact Montgomery, Ala., Police Chief John Wilson about a Sept. 21 shooting outside a liquor store there, where one person was killed and another wounded. A fingerprint from a gun magazine found near the shooting is linked to John Lee Malvo, in Tacoma, Wash.

Oct. 21

Police learn Muhammad owned an assault rifle, and neighbors said they often heard the sound of gunfire from the suspect's property.

Oct. 22The sniper kills a bus driver in Aspen Hill, Md.

Oct. 23Acting on a phone tip, authorities serve warrants at the Tacoma, Wash., home where Malvo and Muhammad once lived. Neighbors had complained in January that Muhammad routinely did target practice in his backyard. Police remove items from the yard, including a tree stump, for forensics tests.

Authorities issue a nationwide alert for a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice, with New Jersey license number NDA-21Z.

Montgomery, Md., Police Chief Charles Moose announces an arrest warrant had been issued for Muhammad on charges not related to the sniper case, and that Muhammad might be traveling with a juvenile.

Oct. 24The vehicle is spotted by a motorist and an attendant at the rest stop along Interstate 70, between Frederick, Md., and Washington, D.C. Police arrest Muhammad and Malvo at about 3:30 a.m. ET.

Authorities report recovering a .223-caliber Bushmaster XM15 rifle from the car.

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