Ten years ago Tuesday, a man was shot and killed in a grocery store parking lot in Maryland. Over the next three weeks, nine others were killed along Interstate 95 and in the D.C. area by the "D.C. Snipers."
Three others were injured, including a man at the Ponderosa Steakhouse in Ashland. The shootings paralyzed people across our area and ten years later, the fear is still resonating.
Even before Jeffrey Hopper was shot in Ashland, many in Central Virginia were paralyzed by fear over the shootings. Viewers recall that anxiety, particularly while fueling up.
"My son was five at the time," Laura Key recalled on our Facebook page. "And it really opened my eyes."
The paranoia kept viewer Mary Beth Eliott from going out for errands. She remembers "I was 20 then and my dad insisted pumping gas for my Mom and I. It was a scary time."
People were scared just going out in public. Visha Wallace was pregnant and still would "speed walk/run in zig zags anywhere I went. I'm sure I looked ridiculous, but it made me feel better!"
It didn't seem to matter how far the shootings were from your home.
"Even here in the country, the schools would park all the buses in front of the school in a line close together for the kids that had to use the sidewalk to get to a class," Cindy Washburn posted on our Facebook page. "The principal stayed in the front yard all day too."
Nearly everyone had their eyes peeled for the suspect vehicle, which Kevin A Anderson remembers clearly as a "constant look out for a white box truck that turned out to be a beat up Chevy Caprice."
Many also remembered the pay phone on broad street that the shooters used and the commotion that caused, as well.
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