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    1. Geriatric Member spockcat's Avatar
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      03-20-2017 08:09 PM #26
      This is the type of thing you would see in Silicon Valley parked on the side of El Camino Rd. as cheap housing. We have cheap enough hotels and other housing in FL that you don't need something like this here.

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    3. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      03-21-2017 01:05 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by DeeJoker View Post
      Ugh. Too many close encounters. I was working in Rockville, MD at the time, and one person was killed a block from work, and I had passed through the kill zone earlier that day heading to work within moments of the first victims being shot.

      But the closest encounter:

      Back in the day, a group of us VW enthusiasts hung out at a Starbucks in Glen Burnie, MD, at the intersection of Ritchie HWY and Mountain Road.

      I met John Allan Muhammed a day or so before they got arrested. He was posing as a Washington Post editor claiming to be investigating leads. Claimed a connection between Michael's Arts and Crafts (two victims were shot in the vicinity of one) Starbucks was in a shopping center with a Michael's in it. He asked us all sorts of questions while we were standing outside smoking. He introduced himself as "John Allan."

      I proceeded to tell him the sniper was a lousy shot. That the theories about the sniper being ex-SF were bunk because a REAL sniper would have never left anyone living. He got nervous and he rolled out, around the building to the other direction from where he came. We saw the blue Caprice moments later.

      The couple i was chatting with contacted WaPo the next morning, who had no employees matching the description. They called the local PD, who had the FBI give them a visit. They didn't have my contact info, so I was out of the loop.

      Within a few days, he was caught. We all breathed easy, hoping that there were no copycats.

      I went back in the Starbucks that evening, and they showed me the front page of the Baltimore Sun. There on the cover was WaPo editor John Allan.

      I nearly had a heart attack-- I told the DC sniper he was a bad shot. No telling how close I was to being a target, but that definitely didn't help things.
      Holy balls that's intense, I was out in NYC area during the whole thing for 3-4 days. People were out of there minds freaked out, some crazy boogie monster worrying going on. But that's a story of a lifetime.

      The vans though, that was an absolute media disaster like out of a horror movie. The average Bob and Mary don't realize how many commercial vans and trucks there are out there. They are almost oblivious to them because they are everywhere doing everything. It went from....might be a white van to could be rogue groups of vans to holy **** why are evil hordes in stolen work vans committing these atrocities? The media created a frenzy and I think that greatly hindered the investigation.
      initiative comes to thems that wait


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    4. Member Frank@AntwerpenPerformance's Avatar
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      03-21-2017 08:03 AM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by DeeJoker View Post
      It rattles me to this day. Thanks.

      I was an electrician in DC at the time and just so happened to drive a white work van. I remember each morning listening to the radio about it worried that we were going to get stopped.
      class steppin'

    5. Feels Like the First Time DeeJoker's Avatar
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      03-21-2017 11:02 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      Holy balls that's intense, I was out in NYC area during the whole thing for 3-4 days. People were out of there minds freaked out, some crazy boogie monster worrying going on. But that's a story of a lifetime.

      The vans though, that was an absolute media disaster like out of a horror movie. The average Bob and Mary don't realize how many commercial vans and trucks there are out there. They are almost oblivious to them because they are everywhere doing everything. It went from....might be a white van to could be rogue groups of vans to holy **** why are evil hordes in stolen work vans committing these atrocities? The media created a frenzy and I think that greatly hindered the investigation.
      I don't think I slept right for weeks after that encounter. Even now when I think about it, I get a little unnerved.

      You're correct, too. The white box truck thing was a red herring. Our delivery and install fleet were all white box trucks/vans and were constantly getting stopped everywhere.

      Prior to meeting Muhammed, I knew a handful of the State Police and Feds working on the case. The nerve center was not far from the store I worked in, and many were prior clients/customers. I was getting a lot of info regarding, and one of them flat told me the box truck was BS. After one of the shootings, several "witnesses" called and claimed they saw a white box truck leaving the area at a high rate of speed. Sure, with the density of people in that area and the sheer number of service oriented businesses, of course there's going to be a plethora of those. Plus, white is the most common delivery truck color... When I told one of my contacts about it, he informed me that I was the luckiest SOB he'd ever met.

      What is worse: people do not realize is that something like 98% of the tips that come in are just a$$holes wanting to get involved, and they call bogus tips all the time. Think of it as trolling before trolling was a thing. They don't realize that in an ongoing investigation, every lead/tip is being pursued and that takes time away from REAL investigative work.

      This was terrorism- plain and simple. It disrupted several million peoples' lives by the actions of two nuts. And there was no way to prevent it other than capturing them.

      The worst part was seeing people cower in fear.

      Some gas stations were taking to lining big trucks up around the perimeter to potentially block a shot on their patrons. People would crouch down to pump gas and then scurry into their cars to wait it out, putting their seats down to avoid giving a head shot.

      People were zig-zagging across parking lots and covering their family members/children as human shields.

      Every single restaurant/bar/cafe in the area immediately removed its outdoor seating because anyone could have been a target.

      Schools were preventing students from going outside, temporary walls were put up to block shots as they were getting on the bus, etc.

      Police were positioned at every intersection of 95, 29, and 495 to block traffic soon as a shooting was reported.

      And traffic in the DMV got substantially worse because nobody wanted to take Metro Rail or Bus and get shot waiting. What was normally an hour or so to work took as much as 2-3 hours because the traffic volume was so much higher.

      This was the Nation's Capital, under siege by a couple gunmen with random targets in mind.

      So, yeah, terrorism in action.
      The above post may contain opinions, coarse language, offensive terms, spelling mistakes, and/or improper grammar. You have been warned.

    6. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      03-21-2017 11:29 AM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by DeeJoker View Post
      I don't think I slept right for weeks after that encounter. Even now when I think about it, I get a little unnerved.

      You're correct, too. The white box truck thing was a red herring. Our delivery and install fleet were all white box trucks/vans and were constantly getting stopped everywhere.

      Prior to meeting Muhammed, I knew a handful of the State Police and Feds working on the case. The nerve center was not far from the store I worked in, and many were prior clients/customers. I was getting a lot of info regarding, and one of them flat told me the box truck was BS. After one of the shootings, several "witnesses" called and claimed they saw a white box truck leaving the area at a high rate of speed. Sure, with the density of people in that area and the sheer number of service oriented businesses, of course there's going to be a plethora of those. Plus, white is the most common delivery truck color... When I told one of my contacts about it, he informed me that I was the luckiest SOB he'd ever met.

      What is worse: people do not realize is that something like 98% of the tips that come in are just a$$holes wanting to get involved, and they call bogus tips all the time. Think of it as trolling before trolling was a thing. They don't realize that in an ongoing investigation, every lead/tip is being pursued and that takes time away from REAL investigative work.

      This was terrorism- plain and simple. It disrupted several million peoples' lives by the actions of two nuts. And there was no way to prevent it other than capturing them.

      The worst part was seeing people cower in fear.

      Some gas stations were taking to lining big trucks up around the perimeter to potentially block a shot on their patrons. People would crouch down to pump gas and then scurry into their cars to wait it out, putting their seats down to avoid giving a head shot.

      People were zig-zagging across parking lots and covering their family members/children as human shields.

      Every single restaurant/bar/cafe in the area immediately removed its outdoor seating because anyone could have been a target.

      Schools were preventing students from going outside, temporary walls were put up to block shots as they were getting on the bus, etc.

      Police were positioned at every intersection of 95, 29, and 495 to block traffic soon as a shooting was reported.

      And traffic in the DMV got substantially worse because nobody wanted to take Metro Rail or Bus and get shot waiting. What was normally an hour or so to work took as much as 2-3 hours because the traffic volume was so much higher.

      This was the Nation's Capital, under siege by a couple gunmen with random targets in mind.

      So, yeah, terrorism in action.
      At what many could argue, one of the worst times to do this. The country was a mess.
      initiative comes to thems that wait


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    7. Member Mike!'s Avatar
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      03-21-2017 11:32 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by DeeJoker View Post
      Ugh. Too many close encounters. I was working in Rockville, MD at the time, and one person was killed a block from work, and I had passed through the kill zone earlier that day heading to work within moments of the first victims being shot.

      But the closest encounter:

      Back in the day, a group of us VW enthusiasts hung out at a Starbucks in Glen Burnie, MD, at the intersection of Ritchie HWY and Mountain Road.

      I met John Allan Muhammed a day or so before they got arrested. He was posing as a Washington Post editor claiming to be investigating leads. Claimed a connection between Michael's Arts and Crafts (two victims were shot in the vicinity of one) Starbucks was in a shopping center with a Michael's in it. He asked us all sorts of questions while we were standing outside smoking. He introduced himself as "John Allan."

      I proceeded to tell him the sniper was a lousy shot. That the theories about the sniper being ex-SF were bunk because a REAL sniper would have never left anyone living. He got nervous and he rolled out, around the building to the other direction from where he came. We saw the blue Caprice moments later.

      The couple i was chatting with contacted WaPo the next morning, who had no employees matching the description. They called the local PD, who had the FBI give them a visit. They didn't have my contact info, so I was out of the loop.

      Within a few days, he was caught. We all breathed easy, hoping that there were no copycats.

      I went back in the Starbucks that evening, and they showed me the front page of the Baltimore Sun. There on the cover was WaPo editor John Allan.

      I nearly had a heart attack-- I told the DC sniper he was a bad shot. No telling how close I was to being a target, but that definitely didn't help things.
      Holy ****...

    8. Feels Like the First Time DeeJoker's Avatar
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      03-21-2017 11:59 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      At what many could argue, one of the worst times to do this. The country was a mess.
      Yep, we were still stinging from 9/11.

      And here's where I threaten the lock on the thread:

      The stark reminder of it is the realization that you can build walls, enforce travel bans, gun control, et al but the actions of a single person flying under the radar can and will defy the strongest and most stringent controls every single time. Recall that this guy was home grown and radicalized. Recall that the terrorists on 9/11 took advantage of lax immigration protocols and overstayed their visas- knowing that we didn't foolishly enforce that law. Terrorists routinely use our freedoms against us to their advantage. That is the nature of terrorism- its unpredictability and use of what we take for granted to its benefit.

      JAH and LBM used the very freedoms that we take for granted to murder and wound so many. There was nothing to prevent them from buying the gun- no criminal background that would prohibit. No dishonorable discharge from the military. There was no prior indication they'd snap, drive from Alabama to the DMV and start a shooting spree.

      Unless they are a known entity, they will always sneak by. And they are completely capable of anything. Doesn't mean that we should bury our heads in the sand and avoid any sort of control but there has to be a realization from the politicians that there will always be outliers and that legislation and action although good intentioned will never completely prevent these actions. Gun control is perhaps the biggest example of legislation doing dick to prevent-- gun violence in Chicago is a prime example of that sort of large scale groupthink failure.

      Then again, the political class thought they could eradicate poverty by legislative fiat, so maybe there is a bigger disconnect to reality than we thought.
      The above post may contain opinions, coarse language, offensive terms, spelling mistakes, and/or improper grammar. You have been warned.

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