- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A dump truck traveling north on Interstate 395 in Alexandria was struck by a bullet early yesterday morning, but police say the shooting likely was not the work of a sniper.

As of last night, authorities had no suspect, no evidence and no motive in the shooting. Investigators also did not find the fired bullet in the truck or any shell casings in the area where the shooting occurred.

“This is the first incident we’ve had of this nature in quite some time — shooting at a moving vehicle,” said Sgt. Terry Licklider, a Virginia State Police spokesman. “One shot was fired at the driver, but there’s nothing to indicate this is another sniper incident.”

Police said the shooting occurred at 6:56 a.m. as the truck headed north on I-395 near Edsall Road.

The incident caused morning backups of up to two miles, as police shut down a ramp to northbound Edsall Road and the far right lane of northbound I-395 during a search for evidence and the shooter.

Traffic resumed at a normal pace after both closures were lifted at about noon.

The bullet pierced the right passenger window of the truck, and police said a piece of glass hit the truck’s driver — Carlos Dipp Guzman, 60, of Alexandria — in his upper right arm near his bicep.

Mr. Guzman pulled the truck over and called police. He was treated for the injury at a local hospital.

Police said Mr. Guzman told them he had not had any altercations with other drivers, so they ruled out road rage as a possible motive for the shooting. Mr. Guzman also said no one had passed him on the interstate’s right shoulder.

Police initially said the shot likely was fired from a 40-yard-long wooded area off of the highway.

Fairfax County police provided a helicopter and a K-9 unit to search the woods, but a hunt for shell casings there came up empty.

“They did not find a shell casing in that wooded area,” Sgt. Licklider said.

Several businesses also are in the area, including a Marlo Furniture store.

Investigators were looking at the rooftops of businesses for evidence of a shooter, and used a laser device normally used in accident reconstruction to help determine the bullet’s trajectory.

A search of the truck’s cab failed to yield the fired bullet, and officers were hoping to question business employees about whether they had seen anything suspicious.

Investigators “are hoping if somebody did see something, they would let us know,” Sgt. Licklider said.

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