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On October 2, 2002, mysterious killings began in Washington D.C.—later dubbed the Beltway sniper attacks.
The killers, John Allen Muhammad (aged 41) and Lee Boyd Malvo (aged 17), had gone on a crime spree involving murders and robberies in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and Washington. On the 2nd, the first of a series of Maryland and D.C. crimes began as a shot was fired through the window of a Michaels craft store. The first bullet missed, but an hour later James Martin, a 55-year-old program analyst at NOAA, was shot and killed in a nearby parking lot.
Four people in the area were killed by mysterious shooters the next day. In each case, the bullets were fired from a considerable distance away. Schools in the area were closed to prevent more deaths.
Eventually, Muhammad and Malvo were found by police sleeping in a van and arrested. Muhammed was put to death by lethal injection in 2009, Malvo was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences without parole. The two had killed a total of 17 people in their spree.
Muhammad’s motives were later determined to be terroristic in nature.
Pictured: Members of the news media watch as an FBI agent uses a metal detector near the Sunoco gas station October 10, where a man was shot and killed in Manassas, Virginia.
[Photo: Getty Images]