- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 23, 2002

The shooting of a bus driver outside Washington has been linked to a sniper who has killed nine other people and wounded three in the region over the past three weeks, investigators said.

Ballistics and other evidence connect yesterday's shooting of Conrad Johnson, 35, said Michael Bouchard, an agent with the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Anxious parents, meanwhile, took their children back to schools under tight security today after police revealed a chilling warning apparently from the sniper: "Your children are not safe, anywhere at any time."

ATF agent Michael Bouchard reminded the public that "we're all parents, and certainly concerned about safety of our kids as well as co-workers."

Parents and school officials were "reeling with emotion," Henrico County, Va., school Superintendent Mark Edwards said today on NBC's "Today" show. The county's schools reopened today, after being closed for two days, but under strict security and with no outdoor activity, he said.

"My kid was fine until he heard on the radio the other day that kids are not safe anytime, anywhere," Andy Wisecarver said today as he hurried his 8-year-old son into an elementary school in Kensington, Md.

"I'm not afraid of the sniper," 17-year-old Heather Willson said defiantly outside Albert Einstein High School in Kensington. "He mostly takes people out in groups of ones and twos, and normally it's in a wide-open space."

One of the sniper's victims was a 13-year-old boy shot outside his Bowie, Md., school who remains hospitalized in serious condition.

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