- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 30, 2008

RICHMOND (AP) — Ballistics tests positively link shell casings recovered near a series of highway shootings and a vehicle owned by a man charged with the shootings, Virginia State Police said yesterday.

The analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives left investigators still seeking a reason for the shootings.

“The motive — that’s what they’re trying to determine now,” state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.

Slade Allen Woodson, 19, was charged Friday with the Interstate 64 shootings and potshots taken at a credit union and home in Waynesboro, which all occurred in the early hours of Thursday. Authorities also charged a 16-year-old from Crozet whose name was not released.

The random shootings prompted investigators to shut down a 20-mile stretch of I-64 between Waynesboro and Charlottesville, reopening it at about dawn. Two people were slightly injured.

The shootings stirred memories of the Washington-area sniper shootings in October 2002 that killed 10 people and wounded three.

The ATF testing linked shell casings from a Ruger .22-caliber magnum rifle and casings found near the interstate and a 1974 AMC Gremlin owned by Woodson, who is from Afton. The weapon was seized at a farm in Crozet where Woodson was arrested early Friday.

“Based on the evidence collected at this stage of the investigation, we do not anticipate any additional arrests related to these crimes,” State Police Superintendent W. Steven Flaherty said in a statement yesterday.

Mr. Woodson and the minor male have been charged, each with 10 felony counts of malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, shooting at an occupied vehicle and destruction of property. Mr. Woodson also faces two felony counts of shooting into an occupied dwelling and destruction of property for his role in two shootings in the city of Waynesboro.

Surveillance video at the Waynesboro credit union captured a light-colored AMC Gremlin at about the time shots were fired there. Police found the car Thursday afternoon, abandoned along a road.

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