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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Boy Shot on Way to School in Maryland

Aired October 7, 2002 - 08:38   ET

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

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: In Maryland this morning, Montgomery County Police Chief Charlie Moose says he's anxious as rush hour begins while the sniper still remains at large. Since Wednesday, seven people randomly shot, six have died. Today, many people in the area on edge, funerals continue. Many folks are afraid to go outside. Jeanne Meserve standing by in Montgomery County, she's in Rockville for more, as we begin another week in this story.
What do we have, Jeanne?

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bill, a new development this morning. Less than a half hour ago, according to Prince George's County police, there was a report of a child, a 13-year-old child being shot at the Benjamin Tasker Middle School, that's in Bowie, Maryland. The mother was apparently was with the child. Details on this incident are very sketchy at this point, and we do not know whether or not this reported shooting has any relationship at all to the others that have taken place. However, Prince George's County is in the Metro Washington area, in fact, it neighbors on Montgomery County where the majority of the shootings have taken place. There were no shootings related to this over the weekend. However, as you mentioned, officials are very anxious about the start of the work week.

CHARLES MOOSE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICE CHIEF: Just the number of people that come out on a Monday morning, certainly just kind of tells us that it's an enhanced target-rich environment. When we look at Thursday morning, there certainly seemed to be a focus around the rush hour.

MESERVE: Chief Moose says there now are a total of 952 credible tips in this case. He says that investigators have been working with profiling, personality profiling information that they gleaned over the weekend from the FBI. They are also working with a geographical profile that is being developed. The assumption is that this individual would work far away enough from his home or work place that he would preserve his anonymity, but he might be close enough to be in what is called a comfort zone.

So that is another thing investigators are looking at. And as the investigation continues, the funerals have begun. Yesterday, the first was held, this for Premkumar Walekar, he's the 54-year-old cab driver. He was gunned down as he was refueling his taxi cab. There is another funereal scheduled for today, a memorial service scheduled for tonight.

At the moment, schools here in Montgomery County are operating under normal hours and normal operations, however, with a heavy police presence.

If there is any good news in this story, it is that the woman who was wounded down in Spotsylvania County on Friday has had her condition upgraded from serious to fair -- Bill, back to you.

HEMMER: Jeanne, two points to follow up on quickly here. Don't want to take an area that is not confirmed yet, but again, the shooting that you are hearing about regarding this 13-year-old, repeat that for us if you will, and also, regarding the rest of the schools in the area, is there ever any consideration given to keeping kids away from class today, or is that a bit of an overreach at this point?

MESERVE: I don't believe there was any consideration given to keeping them away. Even last week, when things were at a heightened pitch, the decision was to keep them in the schools, but to keep them somewhat restrained, no outdoor activities and the like. As to this information that is coming in this morning, once again, this from Prince George's County Police, Prince George's County right next door to Montgomery County, reports of a 13-year-old boy shot in front of a school, the Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Bowie, Maryland.

We understand that his mother was with him, again, we have no details, and no information as to whether or not this shooting was related to the others that have taken place in the area -- Bill.

HEMMER: Jeanne, thank you. Jean Meserve reporting live there just outside of Washington, D.C. Certainly something we are going to keep a close eye on.

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