CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Sniper on Loose: Search for Killer
Aired October 15, 2002 - 12:01 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Michael Okwu is in Falls Church, Virginia, where Linda Franklin was gunned down in a strip mall parking lot. Michael is joining us now from the scene of the crime -- Michael.
MICHAEL OKWU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, hello to you.
A lot more information is beginning to trickle in about Linda Franklin. As you mentioned, she was 47 years old, and she was an FBI analyst. There is absolutely no reason to believe at this point that she was targeted because of her connection to the bureau, and if the past is our guide, no reason to believe that this was anything other than another random sniper shooting.
Now, as you mentioned, all of this happened at about 9:15 last night at the parking area, just over my shoulder, at the Home Depot here in Falls Church, Virginia. She was gunned down just as she was packing some of her goods away in her car, her husband not far from her side.
Federal investigators, at this point, have been on the scene for something close to 15 hours, some of them literally on their hands and knees, searching this entire area, combing it for whatever physical evidence they might be able to find.
According to -- based on, I should say, information given to authorities by some of the eyewitnesses here on the scene, authorities in Fairfax County are trying to hone in on a light-colored vehicle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF TOM MANGER, FAIRFAX COUNTY POLICE: We put out information about a vehicle that we were interested in finding last night, a light-colored Astro van. There's been some misinformation about the taillight. Let me clear that up. We are looking for a light-colored Chevy Astro van with the left taillight out. It didn't appear to be cracked. It just did not appear to be functioning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OKWU: Now, two vehicles were removed from the scene just moments ago, within the past 20 minutes or so. It is unclear who those vehicles belong to. There's been some speculation here that those vehicles might have belonged to -- at least one of those vehicles might have belonged to the victim.
We do know that authorities have been searching just about every square inch here. So, it's very clear that they may be searching those vehicles for further evidence.
Now, investigators are still amassing a great deal of information based on eyewitnesses. One of the things that they are pursuing is license plate numbers, but they're very clear about saying that they would like to keep that information private for now.
Now, this area is known as the Seven Corners, and the reason it's called Seven Corners is, it is a place where major roads converge. It has been certainly part of the sniper's M.O. to set his sights on heavily-trafficked commercial corridors, and then make a getaway.
At this point, the death toll stands now at 11 -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Michael, Linda Franklin was simply taking her shopping bags that she -- stuff that she purchased at the Home Depot with her husband, loading up her car as she was gunned down. The sense is the fact that she's an FBI analyst -- she was an FBI analyst, was purely coincidental. That's the widespread speculation, at least at this point. Is that right?
OKWU: That's exactly right. I mean, the fact is that this is an area that is very rich in people who work for the government -- FBI agents, Secret Service people, former military. And when somebody's out doing random shootings, it's only a matter of time until they unfortunately get somebody who might be connected to the government, which leads to the very obvious speculation.
Of course it's an ongoing investigation. Unclear at this point whether there is any connection there. But also, we should say emphatically that there is no reason to believe that there is a connection -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Michael Okwu on the scene for us in Falls Church, Virginia in Fairfax County. That's just outside Washington.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com.