No repeat of D.C. sniper case here

312_stopthepresses.jpgStop the Presses column by Chris Graham

I think we learned yesterday that we can rest assured that our law-enforcement folks are going to keep us safe no matter what.

“We had one here in Waynesboro,” Waynesboro police chief Doug Davis told me, referring to the shootings reported overnight Wednesday and Thursday on Interstate 64 in Albemarle County that had made the national news.

Davis was cautious in linking the Waynesboro shooting – at a DuPont Community Credit Union branch on Lucy Lane just off I-64 – to the other shootings just down the road, but it seemed clear from the tone that he had his suspicions.

Police investigators had already sifted through surveillance footage from the bank to get an image of a car that had driven up to the bank before the shots rang out in the early-morning hours.

It could prove to be the break in the case – and think about that. We’d already had six vehicles shot at that we knew of on I-64 in Albemarle, the credit-union branch and a home on North Commerce Avenue across town.

(What stands my hair on end is that the Gremlin seen in the surveillance footage almost certainly had to drive by my house on Main Street its way from the credit union to the home on Commerce. Mine and several hundred others, sure. But still, you know …)

Think back to the sniper shootings in the D.C. area from a few years ago. It ended up being a bumbling pair of drifters responsible, but it took police there several horrifying days to apprehend the suspects and end what turned out to be a bloodbath of violence.

Who knows what could have ended up happening here if police hadn’t broken this case as early as they did?

Much credit is due our city police and police across the Central Virginia region.

Thanks, guys and gals, for doing what you do, and doing it so well.

Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.

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