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Where, How Man Was Shot by Sniper

Aired October 22, 2002 - 13:37   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Also getting word today that the FBI plans to go back to the site of the last shooting, that was 2 1/2 days ago, on Saturday night in Ashland, Virginia. Want to go back to the site of that Ponderosa steakhouse.
And that's where we find our Jason Carroll standing by.

Jason, why does the FBI need to go back?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the FBI, Daryn, was out here with members of the Hanover County Sheriff's Department. They were out here serving the site, taking measurements with something called an electronic distance measuring device. This device used to measure the distance basically where the victim was versus where the shooting may have taken place. So the FBI back out here earlier today, earlier this afternoon, just for a few hours, with members of the Hanover County Sheriff's Department, going over these sites again.

It's not unusual for investigators to revisit a site just to make sure they are accurate in some of the measurements that they have taken.

Just want to revisit exactly where we are. We are in the parking lot area of the Ponderosa steakhouse in Ashland. This is the area where that 37-year-old man was shot back on Saturday. It is believed that the shooter was located somewhere in this wooded area behind the restaurant. You can see some of the police tape that's up here on some of the trees.

It is also believed that a message was left by the sniper somewhere back here in this wooded area. Sources telling CNN that that message was actually some sort of a handwritten note; one of the locals' papers reporting that it was posted to one of the trees. That, again, coming from a local paper. But sources telling CNN a handwritten note found somewhere back here in this wooded area. Some sort of a reference in that note to wanting money, some sort of hint or reference to money. Another reference to killing again. Another reference to some sort of a schedule or time line for investigators to respond in some way to this note.

Investigators have this note. They'll be taking DNA samples off of this note. They will also be doing a handwriting analysis from that note, hopefully trying to draw more clues from the note that was left back here in this wooded area -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Jason, there have been questions about the size of the crime scene that police have drawn right after the shooting, and about securing that afterwards. I know we got access to that within 24 hours. Seems odd to me that you're able to be back in the woods on a day when the FBI is conducting their exercises.

CARROLL: And interestingly enough, as you know, CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman was back out here even before I was, back here in this wooded area. But it was surprising to us that this entire area, which, again, was roped off at one point, was opened up so quickly. But obviously, what happened was investigators came back here. You can see even more police tape on some of the trees heading back into the woods even further out. But what's obvious is that police were able to get back here in this wooded area, find out what they needed, they got it, and they moved on.

And you have to wonder if the same sort of protocol will be followed in the shooting that's just now happened up in Montgomery County -- Daryn.

KAGAN: We'll be watching it. Jason Carroll, in Ashland, Virginia, thank you very much.

The man who was shot on Saturday night does continue to recover from his injuries. They're protecting his identity because he's considered a witness in this crime. We are learning more about the injuries he sustained on Saturday night when he was shot in the abdomen.

Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta is following that part of the story and joins us now, from Atlanta.

Sanjay, hello.


You're absolutely right. We did learn quite a bit. I have a model here. I'll just go right to this. What we've learned is basically the bullet probably entered the left side. Here's the stomach right here. Actually hit the stomach. Behind that is the pancreas and the spleen. It also grazed the kidneys in addition to causing some damage to the intestines.

There was a three-hour operation on Saturday. Basically, at that point, the bleeding was addressed. A lot of bleeding from those various organs. Another operation, three hours in length as well, to basically try and clean up some of the possible areas of infection and reconnect some areas, specifically the stomach, to make sure that would allow food to pass through in the future as well.

He appears to be doing well. I spoke to some of the folks at the hospital earlier today. They say he is awake, he's actually communicating using hand signs to his wife. He still does have his abdomen actually opened, meaning that it hasn't been closed yet. Daryn, that's not uncommon in this sort of operation. There's so much swelling of the intestines, so much swelling in the internal organs, it's hard to close the abdomen. That will have to be closed at a later date. Daryn, I think you've mentioned, we heard so many times, there will be further operations for this gentleman later on down the road. But it does appear that he's doing well. Doctors say the first few days, three days or so, the most critical. He's right about that mark now and appears to still be doing well.

KAGAN: Sanjay, he does have a long road back and more operations, as you mentioned. I've been surprised to learn as I've been following the story from Saturday night, how much you can actually live without. We've learned that they took out half his pancreas, two-thirds of his stomach. But if indeed he goes on this good road to recovery, he should be just fine.

GUPTA: That's right. One of the representatives of the hospital that I spoke with a little earlier said one thing that will have to change are his eating habits. And that's no surprise at all, but I thought that was a good sign, they're talking about the fact that he'll have to have different eating habits.

No question about it, you can live without a lot of various parts of your digestive system. People have stomach staplings all the time. Two-thirds of this gentleman's stomach was removed. That's not too different than a stomach stapling operation. The big difference, Daryn, is the fact that this was an unexpected operation. His stomach was full. A lot of the stomach contents spilled in the abdominal cavity. So that could actually cause infections in other parts of the cavity. But really remarkable, you have a lot of redundancy, we say, in terms of your digestive track. You don't need to have all that. He will likely have to change his eating habits. But if that's all there is, that's really not that big a deal for him.

KAGAN: Well, we wish him well in his recovery. And we've heard that he sounds like a fighter and someone who is in good health to start with. We'll continue to cover that story.

Sanjay Gupta, thank you so much.


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