Cornering a killer

A sniper terrorizing the Washington, D.C., suburbs began to show signs of predictable behavior Friday when he murdered a man at a Spotsylvania County gas station. This occurred exactly one week after a woman was wounded in a parking lot near Spotsylvania Mall. A desperate search was conducted by area law enforcement but the perpetrator remains elusive. Hopefully, he has committed his last murder and will be captured or killed before striking again.

In their aggressive pursuit on Friday, state and local police tried one tactic that could provide results should such an attack occur in the near future. The biggest weapon used to corner a suspect is something that occurs naturally almost every day in the sniper’s territory the area’s traffic gridlock.

Immediately after the sniper struck at an Exxon station along U.S. 1 south of Fredericksburg, state police closed down the interstate highways setting up road blocks in search of a vehicle witnesses saw leave the scene a white Chevrolet Astro van. Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 were choked off at a number of different points with police searching every van that matched witness descriptions.

This swift action by the police quickly snarled traffic and would have blocked the shooter’s escape had he been on I-95 at that time. One way to catch a fugitive is to trap him in Northern Virginia traffic. The sniper was not caught, but law enforcement personnel should be commended for their prompt and decisive action.

Area drivers would gladly sit in a traffic jam that ultimately catches a killer.

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