Woman dies in freeway shootings spree
From Steve Brusk
COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) -- A woman riding in a car was shot to death on a freeway near Columbus on Tuesday, and officials are looking into whether the case is connected to a string of roadway shootings in the same area.
Tuesday's shooting marked the fourth in the last week.
Franklin County Sheriff's Department Chief Steve Martin told CNN the woman killed was hit by a single bullet fired into her car on Interstate 270 near the Route 23 interchange, about 10 miles south of downtown Columbus. The victim died a short time later at Grant Medical Center.
Martin said police are investigating at least six other cases in which vehicles were struck by gunfire. All of the cars were traveling on I-270 or roads nearby. No one had been seriously injured until Tuesday's shooting.
The other incidents involved a semi-tractor trailer, a UPS delivery truck, and four passenger vehicles. The first reported incident occurred May 10. Two more were reported in October, and Tuesday's shooting was the fourth since last Monday.
"We don't know yet if they're connected," Martin said. "We're waiting for more information."
Police are asking anyone who has seen suspicious people or suspicious vehicles in the area around the times of the shootings to call detectives.
Detectives do not yet know the caliber of the bullet from Tuesday's incident. Martin said an autopsy will be performed on the victim, and then tests will be conducted on the bullet. He said it has not been determined if the bullets from the previous shootings were of the same caliber.
A police SWAT team searched a nearby wooded area after the shooting for any sign of a suspect or evidence. No one has been taken into custody.
The woman who was killed Tuesday was 62-year-old Gail Knisley of Washington Court House, Ohio. She was riding with a friend who was taking her to a doctor's appointment when the shooting occurred.
The Columbus Police Department and the Ohio Highway Patrol are assisting in the investigations. Three of the previous shootings occurred in Franklin County, two in the city of Columbus, and one on stretch of freeway handled by state police.