The Beltway Sniper Attacks
The Beltway sniper attacks (also known as the DC sniper) began October 2, 2002, with a series of vie fatal shootings in Montgomery County, Maryland, a northern suburb of Washington, and continued for the next three weeks in the Washington metropolitan area. Police received messages left at the murder locations and believe the killer may have worked in concert with another person. The shootings occurred at gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants, and schools. The victims were selected randomly, crossing racial, gender, and socioeconomic categories.The locations of the attacks always had close freeway access. No one was safe, not even children.
News reports Indicated the sniper was using a high powered rifle and adhering to the sniper’s reed, “one shot, one kill. ” As the victims and body counts continued to grow, all hoped for some way to stop and apprehend the sniper. The police department tried almost everything to find the gunman. They opened up a dedicated phone line to urge anyone with information related to the sniper attacks to contact them.
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The police department also published tips on How to Be a Good Witness in the newspaper. The FBI worked closely with the police, supplying criminologists and psychological profiles. Customs also played an important role in the investigation, providing dedicated air support to assist the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (TAFT) and other law enforcement agencies In their efforts to identify, track, and stop the Beltway Sniper.
On October 12, three Star helicopters and one Black Hawk helicopter plus crews began operations from Sterling, Va.Customs aircraft responded to all shootings that occurred after October 12 and provided regular patrols, surveillance during warrant executions, and transportation support for TAFT agents and other law enforcement personnel. On October 24, three weeks later, there was finally a break in the case. Police received a tip that the suspect car was at a rest stop in Maryland. TAFT contacted for assistance related to the arrest of the suspect. In response, a Customs Black Hawk and Star helicopter, with TAFT personnel on board, flew to the scene in Maryland and Joined the FBI in providing aerial surveillance during the arrest.After the arrest of the two suspects was completed successfully, all aviation assets were released and returned to their bases.
The police departments plan Included an average of 20 flight hours per day in support of the sniper task force. This was a threat to national security because Innocent Americans were getting killed by terrorist. The terrorists’ goals are to make Americans afraid of vying their daily lives, and that’s what happened in this case. Americans were afraid civilians not US soldiers.