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Hopefully they catch this guy soon!,2933,111498,00.html

Elusive Ohio Gunman Growing Bolder

Monday, February 16, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio ? Ballistics testing confirmed a shooting on Saturday morning was the 24th in a series in the Columbus area, investigators said Sunday. No one was injured in the most recent shooting, though one person has been killed since the attacks began in May.

Witnesses described the shooter as a clean-shaven white male in his 30s with dark hair, wearing a hat and sunglasses and driving a small black sedan. Experts said he is becoming bolder.

"He's sending a message to police: 'You're not as close as you think you are. I can shoot in broad daylight, and you still won't find me,'" said Jack Levin, a criminologist and director of the Brudnick Center on Violence at Northeastern University (search).

On Friday, Franklin County Chief Deputy Steve Martin said he felt confident in the investigation's progress. "We feel that we're getting closer all the time," Martin said. "We are doing exactly what we need to do."

Levin said his studies of criminals, including the recent Washington, D.C., sniper (search) case, indicate reckless behavior can make serial shooters feel more powerful and important.

"It enhances the cat and mouse game he plays with law enforcement," Levin said. "Psychologically, he gains with these risks."

The serial shootings began in May, though most have occurred since mid-October.

Until last month, the gunfire at vehicles and buildings was scattered along or near Interstate 270, a busy highway that circles Columbus. The previous four shootings, including two Feb. 8, had moved progressively farther southwest on Interstate 71. Saturday's shooting was the farthest east the shooter has struck.

The shooter is starting to get careless, perhaps on purpose, said W. Scott Thornsley, criminal justice professor at Mansfield University (search) in Pennsylvania.

"If he gets away with it, it's more thrilling to him," he said. "If he doesn't get a way with it, it puts an end to what he may be going through."
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