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Sheriff: Latest Ohio shooting a hoax

The bullet found in this van door is not related to the 24 shootings near Columbus, Ohio's Interstate 270.
The bullet found in this van door is not related to the 24 shootings near Columbus, Ohio's Interstate 270.

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Ballistics tests confirm that a bullet that struck an SUV on Saturday in Licking County, Ohio, is linked to 23 other shootings near Columbus.
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(CNN) -- A bullet found in the door of a minivan Wednesday was a hoax and not related to a string of 24 shootings near Columbus, Ohio's outerbelt highway, authorities said.

A statement from the Franklin County Sheriff's Department said the man who reported that his minivan had been hit by a bullet later admitted he shot at the door of his van and then reported it as a roadway shooting.

"Valuable time, resources and manpower were wasted because of this foolish action," the statement said, adding that charges are pending against the man.

Authorities in Ohio have linked 24 shootings since May on or near the southwest corridor of Interstate 270, which encircles Columbus.

Gail Knisley, 62, was killed November 25 when a bullet pierced her car window as she rode on 270. No other injuries have been reported.

Last Saturday a bullet struck the front passenger-side fender of a 1988 Chevrolet Suburban and lodged in its battery in Licking County. No one was injured.

Witnesses told police they saw a man fire a handgun from a toll road overpass above Interstate 70 about a mile west of State Route 310, Chief Deputy Steve Martin said.

Two shootings within minutes of each other on February 8 suggest the shooter is "definitely getting more brazen," Martin said last week.

Several witnesses to the February 8 and 14 shootings gave authorities a description of the shooter as a white male, between 30 and 40 years old, in a small to midsize dark sedan, Martin said.

"I think we'll probably all agree that our particular shooter is becoming much more aggressive -- much bolder -- in letting himself be seen by the public," Martin said Sunday. "His intent is to hurt somebody."

Asked whether he believes one person is responsible for all 24 shootings, he said, "Right now, I don't have any reason to think differently."

There is a $60,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of whoever is responsible.

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