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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Ohio Police Talk About Shootings Cases

Aired December 18, 2003 - 15:31   ET

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

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: But right now, as we told you, we have a live event to go to. This is an Ohio news conference. We believe it will be Franklin County Sheriff Deputy Steve Martin talking about those bullet strikes found in two school buses.
CHIEF DEP. STEVE MARTIN, FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT.: ... we will identify the person or persons responsible for the shooting death -- or shooting of these incidents.

As you know, there have been several New reports of shooting incidents that have taken place in our community. Local law enforcement and members of the taskforce have responded to each incident. Interview have been conducted, evidence collected where available, and laboratory analysis conducted.

In summary, as mentioned yesterday, a bullet that was taken from the residence at 901 Brown Road in Franklin Township was positively linked with the weapon used to kill Mrs. Gail Knisley on November 25, 2003. That brings the total to seven such incidents with positive ballistic matches.

A pellet or other object or projectile may have hit a house next to 901 Brown Road on a previous date and just was recently discovered. At this time, we do not believe that the residence at 917 Brown is related to the incident at 901 Brown because of ballistic comparison.

Two school buses from the southwestern city school district were recently hit by gunfire at separate times. One bus was hit at approximately 7:00 a.m. yesterday in the vicinity of Alchire Road (ph) and Dimmers (ph) near I-270. There were no children on the bus at that time.

A second bus was hit near Ramsburg Avenue and Brown Road at approximately 4:24 p.m. on either Tuesday or Wednesday. The driver is not sure of the exact date, as she only recalls hearing a noise and that the damage wasn't found until an inspection yesterday.

There were two children on the bus at the time. Both buses were struck on the right rear area, near the taillights. Investigators are confident that both bullet strikes -- both were bullet strikes. However, there has been no ballistic evidence recovered to compare with other cases.

Law enforcement received information that a bullet hole was found at a residence at 1666 Dire Road (ph) in Columbus. Investigators have determined that the hole was old and currently occupied by a nest of hornets. It is believed that the case is most unlike -- most likely unrelated.

Law enforcement has stepped up patrols in the area where these latest shooting incidents have occurred. Every investigative tool is being utilized. We continue to ask for the public's assistance in solving these cases. We encourage any citizen that may have information, no matter how insignificant it may appear, to contact the sheriff's tip line at 614-462-4646. There is a reward of $30,000 being offered to anyone that provides information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for the death of Mrs. Knisley.

To the person or persons responsible, we continue to seek dialogue with you. Please contact the tip line or, if you prefer, you can write to Franklin County Sheriff's Office at Post Office Box at 360562, Columbus, Ohio, 43236-0562.

To the media, thank you for continuing to support this investigation by getting out responsible, timely and accurate information to the public. We're going to deviate from what we normally do, where I take questions. What I would like to do is I would like to bring two of our community leaders up.

First would be Franklin County Commissioner Dewey Stokes (ph), and our city mayor, Michael Coleman, to say a few words. And then I'll take questions after that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Chief.

CROWLEY: You have again been listening to Steve Martin, who is the Franklin County sheriff deputy out of Columbus, Ohio, who confirmed that, in fact, two bullet strikes were found in two different school buses around Columbus, Ohio, which, as you know, has been plagued with a series of shootings in that area. He confirmed that, in fact, one bullet did match with several others that was taken out of a house. But as yet, as far as we understand it, they have not yet matched the bullet to the school bus.

Nonetheless, as you might imagine, it has caused some concern and, in fact about 20,000 students did not go to school today. They shut down school in that district while they work it out.

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