School bus sniper leaves note behind

by: Tom Jones Updated:

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CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Clayton County police are using a note recovered at the scene to search for the gunman who aimed at children boarding a school bus.

Officers would not confirm what was in the note, but sources told Channel 2’s Tom Jones it contained school bus numbers and drop-off times. Police also said they have persons of interest in the case but indicated that information is in the early stages.

Officers showed Jones the Marlin 22 Model 60 rifle they believe the sniper dropped in a resident’s back yard Monday after a neighbor noticed him pointing at children.

The incident happened near Paladin and Hyde Court in Hampton. The neighbor's nephew chased the gunman away before police say the sniper shot at him and missed. Police Chief Greg Porter said he didn't know what the gunman intended to do.

"Don't know his intentions, but I know the police department's intentions are to bring him to justice," Porter said.
           
Porter says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is analyzing the rifle for clues.

"We can try to lift prints off it. We can try and trace it through the ATF through their system. Basically provide leads," Porter said.
           
More than 60 officers went door to door to gather information that could lead them to the gunman. Officers asked residents if they saw any suspicious activity or if they knew anyone with a grudge against the school system.

Before the officers fanned out, a detective briefed them on what sounded like a break in the case.

"We've got several persons of interest in the case. We have canvassed the area several times, trying to come up with some information on him," she said. 

Porter didn't want to discuss that comment, saying it was very, very preliminary. Police said two witnesses were unable to give them a good description of the gunman.
                
One homeowner said his son was on the bus the sniper aimed at.

"It's very, very terrifying to hear," Sean Rutherford said.

He's no longer taking a chance on his son's safety.

"I make sure I go pick him up from school instead of him riding the bus," he said.
           
Police are also providing escorts for school buses picking up and dropping of children. The chairman of the Clayton County Commission is urging anyone who knows the identity of the gunman to come forward.

"Let's get this youngster off the street before he hurts some of our children," Bell said.



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