Colorado police check if killings linked to 2 other shootings

Story highlights

  • Man found fatally shot in Loveland, Colorado is identified as William Roger Connole Jr.
  • Police earlier said other unsolved, outdoor shootings were related
  • Authorities now checking whether Loveland shooting connected to other three

(CNN)Police already believe the unsolved shootings of a motorist and a bicyclist in northern Colorado are connected. Now they're investigating whether a new outdoor killing is related.

A 65-year-old man was found fatally shot, lying on a sidewalk, in the city of Loveland on Wednesday night, the city's police department said Thursday. He was identified as William Roger Connole Jr.
    "Bill was a generous, loving and caring father of 3, grandfather of 6 and friend to countless more," his family said in a statement, asking for privacy.
    Authorities haven't said what led to the killing. But they said a task force is investigating whether it's connected to the other two shootings -- a driver was wounded in April, and a bike rider was killed in May. All three incidents happened within roughly 15 miles of each other.
    The first two shootings, both unsolved and occurring in or near the city of Windsor, left residents with unnerving questions of who fired the shots, and why.
    "While we don't have any specific information in from the shooting that occurred here last night that this case is related to the shooting events (in April and May) ... there are enough likenesses to this case that we, as an agency, immediately reached out to the task force that is assigned to investigate this and other crimes with us," Loveland Police Chief Luke Hecker told reporters.
    Police reported weeks later that another person was shot the same day as Connole, about 2 miles from where Connole was shot, but that person did not immediately report the incident.
    In April, Cori Romero, 20, was driving when somebody shot her through the neck on an I-25 entrance ramp near Fort Collins, north of Loveland and Windsor. She survived.
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    On May 18, John Jacoby was found dead beside a country road, his bicycle nearby, just 5 miles from where Romero was shot. Jacoby, 48, of Windsor, had been shot twice -- the first homicide in Windsor in eight years.
    Windsor police announced on May 29 that they found evidence linking those shootings, but they did not elaborate, saying they needed to protect the integrity of the investigation.
    Police also said about two dozen windows had been mysteriously broken on vehicles in several locations, but investigators had no evidence that the windows had been shot out.
    "Who did it?" Tom Carter, one of Jacoby's co-workers, said to CNN affiliate KCNC last month about Jacoby's death. "Is it the same guy who's been picking off cars? Is it a copy cat? It's frightening."
    Jacoby and Romero were not acquainted, police said.