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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

News Conferennce To Announce Temporary Shutdown of Ohio I-270 Near Columbus

Aired December 6, 2003 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

RENAY SAN MIGUEL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Renay San Miguel at the CNN Center in Atlanta. We want to take you, right now, to Columbus, Ohio where authorities are giving a news conference on the latest of the shooting investigation there. Let's listen in.
STEVE MARTIN, DEPUTY SHERIFF, FRANKLIN COUNTY, OHIO: As you may recall, a bullet hit the school in the early morning hours on Veteren's Day, November 11. Ballistic examinations subsequently linked the recovered bullet fragment to the same weapon that was used to kill Mrs. Knisley (ph).

Investigators are interested in that particular neighborhood because the school is off I-270 area wehre mose of the linked shootings occurred. We continue to believe the person or persons involved in this shooting incident may live, work, or are comfortable in the area where the shootings took place.

The school offeres the first opportunity for law enforcement to associate a particular neighborhood with the shooting areas. We thank the many agencies that assisted in the neighborhood canvass.

This evening, parts of interstate 270 on the south end are being shut down in order for investigators to conduct necessary analysis and measurements associated with some of the shootings. Although we regret the inconvenience this action may cause persons needing to travel through the stretch of the highway, law enforcement is committed to conducting the investigative steps necessary to identify the person or persons responsible for these shootings. We would also like to thank the Ohio Department of Transportation for their assistance in this endeavor.

Citizens should know that we appreciate the number of leads phoned in to the tipline. However, we continue to believe that there are persons in the community, who may have witnessed or know something and for whatever reasons have been reluctant to call. Investigators man the tipline 24 hours a day and are standing by to take the information that you provide. You may remain anonymous, if you so choose. No piece of information is too insignificant to phone in.

There is also a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for the death of Mrs. Knisley (ph). The tipline is area code 614-462-4646.

To the person or persons responsible for these shootings, please contact us immediately on the tipline so that we can begin dialogue with you. If you would prefer to write, we have established a post office box just for you. And that post office box is the Franklin County Sheriff's post office box 360562, Columbus, Ohio, 43236-0562.

To the media, we continue to appreciate the professional manner in which you have conducted yourselves. We realize that it is very tempting to put out information that has not been confirmed. We in law enforcement, knowing ault facts, are faced with decisions daily as to what information should be released to the public. We will continue to operate in a fashion that we believe is in the best course of action for this investigation. Our main objective will always be in bringing the person or persons responsible for the death of Mrs. Knisley (ph) to justice. Yes.

QUESTION: How many miles of 270 do you plan to shut down and for how long?

MARTIN: We are hoping it will only be shut down for an hour. We have planned for two, but the area we are going to shut down is not nearly as large as what the media has reported. That outside area is let people know at a distance that it's shut down so they will have a better opportunity to get off the 270 or take a different route.

QUESTION: A mile? two miles?

MARTIN: I would say probably closer to four.

SAN MIGUEL: You are listening to a press conference conducted by deputy Steve Martin with the Franklin County Sheriff's Department. This is regarding the string of shootings that have taken place on I- 270 near Columbus, Ohio.

Officials are getting ready to close part of I-270, the southern part there of that beltway around Columbus, Ohio. They will be closing it for about an hour from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern time, about an hour, possibly two.

In the meantime, officials say they have linked a shooting at a school nearby interstate 270 to the series of shootings. There is still a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible.

Deputy Martin saying they are still calling for any eyewitnesses who may have seen anybody taking the shots along the interstate there, and they're also putting their call out for the person or persons responsible for the shootings to call the police there in Columbus, Ohio, to begin a dialogue, in their words, to try to bring these to an end.

As we get more information on this, we will bring it to you.

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