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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Baton Rouge Killing Tied To Washington Area Sniper Rifle

Aired October 31, 2002 - 16:52   ET

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

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to go back to Art Harris, our correspondent in Atlanta, for an update on new information out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on the weapon used in the sniper killings in Washington -- Art.
ART HARRIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, ballistics testing has shown that the bullets used by the snipers in the Washington and Baltimore area have been linked to another murder, this one in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a shopkeeper who was closing up on September 23, shot in the back of her head, her purse taken in downtown Baton Rouge.

Police have been puzzled over this. But her husband complained for a week or two, had heard about the Washington area cases. And they took another look. Ballistics tests were done at the Louisiana state crime lab. And a confirmation was made with the ballistics, the bullets in the Washington-area sniper case to this homicide, making yet another murder in the case files of the sniper -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Art, are there still other incidences out there, other crimes, other shootings where they're looking to make a connection?

HARRIS: Judy, we're hearing of departments across the country that are looking at unsolved murders in their backyards and trying to either connect or clear them with similarities or M.O.s that match the Washington area sniper.

Evanston, Illinois, is looking at a young man who was shot in the head with a .22, for example. Baton Rouge is looking at another case, sources are telling me. But that has not been confirmed. This is yet another link in the ballistics that does make it similar to the bullets used in the Washington sniper cases -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: And, Art, this is literally a matter of police going back and looking at the fragments or the bullet itself that went into the body of the victim.

HARRIS: That's correct, shot once in the back of the head. They took it, compared that, as they do, under a microscope from bullets that they fired under test conditions with the Bushmaster .223 taken from the blue Chevy. And that's how they made this match, Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, CNN's Art Harris bringing us this latest development, reporting from Atlanta -- thank you, Art.

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