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Print from Alabama killing matches suspect

sniper
Family photo of John Lee Malvo and police sketch of suspect in liquor store shooting

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A Maryland police spokesman says a man who investigators think may have information about the sniper shootings has been arrested (October 24)
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Investigators say man sought on firearms charges may have information on the sniper case. They also relay a new message to the sniper
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Federal authorities searched a yard outside a duplex in Tacoma, Washington, as the sniper investigation moved West
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SPECIAL REPORT
• Interactive: The death penalty
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• Story: D.C. area victims
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SUSPECT INFORMATION
Tip line:
888-324-9800
$500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people involved in the shootings.
Write-in tips:
P.O. Box 7875
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20898-7875
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MONTGOMERY, Alabama, (CNN) -- A fingerprint at the scene of a September killing in Alabama matches prints on file from Washington-area shooting suspect John Lee Malvo, authorities said Thursday.

"We do feel very confident that the evidence collected here in Montgomery is connected to the sniper shootings up in D.C," said Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright.

The September 21 shooting in Montgomery killed one woman and wounded another at a liquor store where they worked. Bright said a fingerprint from the crime scene was sent to the Maryland-based task force investigating the sniper killings.

He said he would not disclose details until he received official verification from the Maryland-based task force investigating the killings. But, he added, "we are informed that it is connected in some form or fashion."

Federal authorities told CNN the fingerprint matched one in Malvo's juvenile arrest record and led them to the Tacoma, Washington, house where 41-year-old John Allen Muhammad once lived.

The two had lived in Bellingham, Washington, said Bellingham Police Chief Randy Carroll. "While they were here, Mr. Muhammad was posing as [Malvo's] father," he said.

Investigators from the sniper task force called Montgomery police Sunday night to ask about the liquor store killing after a caller told them about a case, in the words of Police Chief John Wilson, "that happened in Montgomery, Alabama, near Ann Street, where a murder occurred at a liquor store."

Montgomery police confirmed that such a killing had occurred and sent some of their evidence to the task force, Wilson said.

Malvo and Muhammad, also known as John Allen Williams, were taken into custody early Thursday in Maryland and questioned in connection with the sniper attacks that have killed 10 people and wounded three since October 2 in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

They later made their initial appearances separately in federal court in Baltimore.

Wilson said there were "some very good similarities" between Malvo and a composite sketch of the attacker in the Montgomery killing.

But he said the weapon used in the Montgomery shooting was not the same one -- a .223-caliber rifle -- used in the shootings in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Police suspect a handgun was used in the Montgomery killing, Wilson said.

Montgomery police were treating the shooting as a robbery, Wilson said, because one officer saw the attacker rifling through the victim's purse.

Claudine Parker was killed and Kelli Adams was wounded in the shooting, which occurred at a state-run liquor store where both victims worked.

Two police officers parked nearby heard the shots, Wilson said at a news conference at the crime scene Thursday.

"They came straight across the street and observed one individual standing over the two victims that were laying in the parking lot directly behind me," Wilson said.

One officer chased the man -- coming within two feet of him at one point, Wilson said -- but he got away.



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