Wash Post: Meanwhile, a North Carolina State Highway Patrol communications supervisor said his agency, after receiving information from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, began late last night to broadcast a lookout for a man who is wanted for questioning in the shootings. The supervisor said the man was not described as a suspect.
The Raleigh News & Observer said a bulletin from the ATF said the man had once lived in North Carolina and had been affiliated with militia and white supremacist groups
One of the first pieces of unsubstantiated speculation to come from TV news on Thursday (I was watching WUSA) was that the victims could have been targeted because they were minorities. Of course, in that section of Montgomery County, you could very easily pick five people up at random and not hit upon a white person. However, since there is very little to go by this case, except that the culprit has had more than a passing familiarity with an assault rifle, idle time had to filled with speculation. Up until that evening, all of the victims were racial and ethnic minorities. However that line of questioning was dropped when it was pointed out that one of the Hispanic women was assumed to be white. Newscasters only inferred the ethnicity of Lori Lewis when it was revealed that her full name was Lori Lewis Rivera. So the idea is that if the journalist didn't know, neither could the shooter. The victims, if I can remember the reports correctly were a Hispanic man (James Buchanan) on a lawnmower, a black man (James Martin) at Shoppers Food, an Indian cab driver (Premkumar Walekar) at a gas station, and two Hispanic women -- one sitting in front of the Leisure World post office (Sarah Ramos), and Lewis Rivera at another gas station. I have even less information on the person killed in DC and the one shot in Fredericksburg, VA (except that she's alive but in serious condition at Fairfax Hospital). Admittedly, this is from my poor memory and from news reports which could have later been amended, but understandably that line of questioning struck with me. And the new twist from North Carolina, if it's found to have any bearing with the shootings, may intensify that reasoning.