Filed under: random shooters

"Lets just go buck wild!!!" — Alleged Interstate Shooter Slade Woodson

Police in Virginia have arrested 19-year-old Slade Woodson of Afton, VA in connection with a series of random shootings that recently took place along I-64 in Waynesboro. Random bullets fired by one, possibly two shooter(s) struck six vehicles on the Interstate Wednesday night and Thursday morning, injuring two.

After seeing an AMC Gremlin in security camera images from a shooting incident at a credit union in Waynesboro, an acquaintance of the teen’s told police that she’d seen Woodson in a similar car. The acquaintance, Janet Tice, also had bullets fired into her residence early Thursday morning.

Police later found the same Gremlin beside a state road and took it into evidence.

Woodson was taken into custody around 5 this morning. When police arrived at Yonder Hill Farm, a horse farm where Woodson lives, another man inside Woodson’s residence exchanged gunfire with the authorities. He was wounded in the shootout and taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Woodson has been charged with the shootings into the Tice home and at the credit union, and is considered a suspect in the I-64 incidents.

Slade Woodson could be found on the social networking site MySpace.com under the following address:

www.myspace.com/lostbogger.

The profile asked readers, “Who wants a good ‘ol country boy???”

Woodson had numerous photos of himself and various vehicles in his MySpace photo album, but none of them showed an AMC Gremlin.

Woodson posted the following on the profile’s main page: “The names Slade… anyone who wants to go mud boggin, lemme know..i work too much but…im just a poor country boy tryin to survive… Lets go racin state.” As to who he might want to meet: “A girl who doesnt bullshit around like all the other girls ive talked to… One who cares for me as much as i care for her… And aint scared to get a lil dirty… GIT-R-DON.”

Woodson’s profile stated that he attended Western Albemarle High in Crozet, VA. Other records found online seemed to indicate that Woodson was a successful track athlete at Western, once placing first in a pole vault competition.

If he did indeed fire the shots that rattled Waynesboro-area residents, no one knows what Woodson’s motive may have been.

Perhaps the person who fired at the cars on the Interstate simply felt it was time to finally do as Woodson’s headline suggested, and “just go buck wild.”

Sources:

NOTE: Please let me know if the link to Mr. Woodson’s MySpace goes dead or the page is made private. I have a copy and will post it if need be.

Shooter on the loose in Iowa City

The University of Iowa in Iowa City has put out the following text message for students and faculty on campus:

An active shooter is reported to be in the Iowa City Area. He is a white male in his mid 40s driving a 1998 Tan Toyota Sienna Minivan, Iowa License plate 501-BLO. If you see it call 911 from a safe location to report shooter sighting…

KGAN, a CBS affiliate in Iowa City, www.kgan.com.shtml” target=”_blank”>has relayed a report from KCCI Television in Des Moines, IA, that the man being sought is named Steve Sueppel.

Sueppel, age 42, lived with his 41-year-old wife Sheryl and their children at 629 Barrington Road in Iowa City. According to the Des Moines Register, police were called to the Sueppel residence before 7 a.m. this morning. The Cedar Rapids Gazette has reported that an adult woman — most likely Sheryl Sueppel — and 4 children were found dead inside the home.

At one time Sueppel was vice-president and controller of the Hills Bank & Trust. Authorities say Sueppel was accused of moving money around for his own use. The Des Moines Register published the following about Sueppel’s legal troubles:

Police have not confirmed whether the suspect is the same Steven Francis Sueppel indicted Feb. 12 on charges of embezzling and laundering almost $560,000 from Hills Bank & Trust […] Sueppel had pleaded not guilty and a trial was set for April 21…

However the Iowa City Press Citizen published slightly different info about the charges against Sueppel in February:

The court has alleged that during a seven-year period, Sueppel embezzled $599,040 from Hills Bank. He also allegedly laundered a total of $13,500 from Aug. 23, 2007, to Sept. 17, 2007, according to the indictment…

Search warrants related to the money-laundering charges alleged that Sueppel “told bank officials he used most of the $219,000 he took over a three-year period to purchase cocaine.”

Sueppel was slated to go to trial on April 21. A conviction would have brought 30 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.

In an interview with MSNBC, an Iowa City investigator said that Suppel was a potential danger to the community because he wasn’t “in his right mind.”

Several of the Iowa City papers quoted in this entry have also published reports that a van on Interstate 80 matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle crashed and was in flames. The fire is hindering confirmation as to whether Sueppel was inside the vehicle or not.

This entry will be updated and revised.

NOTE 1: I’ve begun a thread at the message board associated with the brand new true crime site, CrimeJunkies.com. Check it out — register your own screen name there and start posting, if you like.

NOTE 2: The only man with the same name found on MySpace so far is a 26-year-old Californian. Please don’t try posting a link to the guy’s page in the comments. It will be deleted. Every time a case like this hits the news, someone mistakenly fingers a guy with an identical name. I won’t let that happen here if I can help it.

Two Mass Shootings, 2000 Miles…

PHILADELPHIA

Four people were found dead in a Philadelphia office this evening.

A fifth person was said to be wounded and in the hospital.

The AP reported that a gunman shot four people before turning the gun on himself. All this took place at a location close to the old Philadelphia Navy Yard. A 911 call came into Philly police around 8:30 p.m. Gunfire had been heard in Building 79 of the Philadelphia Naval Business Center.

Some reports indicate that the gunman engaged police before committing suicide.

The AP also quoted a Philadelphia police official who stated that the shooter “appeared to get upset at a board of directors meeting for a company that may have been an investment firm…”

CNN has reported on their website that the shootings took place at ZigZag Net. The website associated with that business name indicates that ZigZag Net specialized in “Creative and Strategic Marketing, Web and Interactive and Web Application Development…”

Updates will follow.

PHILLY UPDATE, 2/13/07

The names of the deceased in the office shootings in Philadelphia have been released:

  • Mark Norris, 46, of Piles Grove, N.J.; president and CEO of Zigzag Net, the building’s primary occupant.
  • Robert Norris, 41, of Newark, Del., vice president of business development for Watson International, the company having the meeting.
  • James Reif, 42, of Endicott, N.Y. and a high school friend of Robert Norris

source: Philadelphia Inquirer.

The killer was identified today as Vincent Dortch, 44, of Newark, Delaware.

SALT LAKE CITY

A very reliable source in Utah writes to me about the mass shooting that has taken place in a mall in Salt Lake City tonight: “Random, one end of the mall to the other… Mall is a 1 square block redone trolley barn/rail station (…) directly in downtown… White Male, early 20s, random shooting, officers cornered him in a clothing store and killed him… He was wearing a black trench coat… carrying a shotgun…”

My source in Utah also was not yet clear on the number of fatalities at the Trolley Square Mall. MSNBC and the Associated Press report:

The man entered the mall about 6:45 p.m. and began shooting randomly…

(…)

An antique-store owner, Barrett Dodds, 29, said he saw a man in a trench coat exchanging gunfire with a police officer outside a card store. The gunman was backed into a children’s clothing store.

“I saw the cops go in the store. I saw the shooter go down,” said Dodds, who watched from the second floor…

There may be as many as 5 fatalities in the Mall shooting, my source is guessing fewer, at the moment.

That the gunman wore a trenchcoat might have more to do with concealing a weapon than making a statement… but at the moment, no one knows.

A strange coincidence where these mass shootings in two cities on different sides of the U.S. are concerned is the fact that they actually took place within minutes of one another. Salt Lake City is on Mountain Time, Philadelphia on Eastern. The Philadelphia shootings were called in at 8:30 p.m., ET — just 15 minutes later, at 6:45 MT, the trenchcoated shooter opened fire at Trolley Square, over 2000 miles away.

Updates will follow.

Also see Bonnie’s Blog of Crime.

SALT LAKE UPDATE, 2/13/07

When I asked my source in Salt Lake if it was possible that the shooter at Trolley Square was a devotee of the Columbine Killers (and yes, those do exist — just read Trench Reynolds’s site to see what I mean), the response was elliptical — I was told the killer at Trolley Square “didn’t fit that mold.”

In a press conference held in SLC about an hour ago, I realized what my friend meant; it was revealed in the presser that the shooter was a Bosnian refugee living in Salt Lake, 18-year-old Solejman Talovic. At the moment, that’s almost all anyone knows, including Salt Lake City law enforcement.

Talovic apparently got out of his car and simply started shooting everyone he saw.

The victims, according to the Salt Lake Tribune:

  • Jeffrey Walker, 52;
  • Vanessa Quinn, 29;
  • Teresa Ellis, 29;
  • Brad Frantz, 24;
  • Kirsten Hinkley, 15.

I added links in names where I could find something relevant.

I was 16 in 1984 when a terrible massacre in San Ysidro, California hit the news. A soulless bastard named James Huberty went “hunting humans” on July 18 that year. He found his prey in a McDonalds in San Ysidro, and by the time a police sniper took Huberty down, he’d killed 21 and wounded 19.

Perhaps I was mildly insane when I was 16, but for several years after the mass murder in San Ysidro, across the country from where I lived in Nashville, I refused to go inside any fast-food restaurant for a sit-down meal. I’m not kidding. I made exceptions, but one place was never an option — McDonald’s. I’d go through the driver-through any time. But you couldn’t have dragged me inside a Mickey D’s after I’d sat glued to the awful news from California.

I won’t be that way about malls, now. I’ve outgrown a lot of the strange anxieties and paranoias I had as a kid. But I can’t say for sure that the next time I enter a mall that I won’t at least think of Trolley Square.

(NOTE: In a skim of the major cable networks looking for something about either story above, I saw nothing but wall-to-wall Anna Nicole. And I apologize to my friends in the msm, but that’s just wrong. Any other time these stories would merit major national news cut-ins. Astonishing. For another crime news story that actually matters, but you haven’t heard about, check out the Crime Scene Blog, and Stephen McCaskill’s comprehensive post about the NorCal Rapist.)