COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Authorities released the name of a suspect Monday in two dozen highway sniper shootings that have left one woman dead and unnerved motorists for months.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said Charles A. McCoy Jr., 28, of Columbus, should be considered armed and dangerous.

Chief Deputy Steve Martin would not say what evidence led investigators to McCoy, and authorities do not yet have a warrant for his arrest. He didn’t say when investigators would seek one.

“The key issue for us right now is to locate this guy,” Martin said. “We believe he bought another gun.”

The shootings at vehicles and buildings around Interstate 270, which circles the city, and other highways started in May.

, although most have occurred since October. The most recent was on Valentine’s Day. One woman was killed in a November shooting.

Bullets have struck homes, a school, school buses, vans, cars, delivery trucks and tractor-trailers. The only person hit, Gail Knisley, 62, was fatally wounded Nov. 25 while riding in a car on I-270.

Martin said the task force doesn’t know if McCoy is still in the region.

In the last three shootings, witnesses described seeing someone aiming at them while standing next to a car. Their descriptions of the suspect and car were similar to information the sheriff’s office released Monday.

The suspect is a 5-foot-8, 185-pound white male with brown hair and green eyes, the sheriff’s office said. The car is a dark green 1999 Geo Metro with a black hood.

The address traced to the car’s license plate is within a mile of the stretch of I-270 where many of the shootings occurred.

A light was on in the split-level house but the curtains were drawn, and a “for sale” was posted outside. Real estate agent Sheila Bell said the house had been on the market for six months.

Several neighbors said they barely knew McCoy, whom they recognized from a photo released by investigators.

Authorities were seeking the public’s help Monday in locating McCoy.

AP-ES-03-15-04 2201EST



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