On October 2, 2002, Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad started their killing spree that earned them the moniker, the DC Snipers. At 6:30 p.m., James Martin, a 55-year-old program analyst, was shot and killed in the parking lot in Wheaton MD. Apparently they had shot at but missed a store clerk earlier in the day, but that was not associated at the time. The next day they shot and killed 5 people in separate incidents in the Washington DC area. Another homicide followed on October 4th. A massive manhunt and media frenzy immediately started.
As the killings continued, the pair left messages for the investigators. Tarot cards were left at scenes, and anonymous phone calls were made. One of these calls referenced a homicide in Montgomery, Alabama. Comparisons were made to recent crimes there, and a fingerprint was lifted from a robbery where two victims were shot, one fatally. The print came back to an immigration arrest for the Jamaican born Malvo. Investigators quickly learned that he had entered the country with Muhammad, an American citizen. It was learned that Muhammad had purchased a 1990 Chevy Caprice in New Jersey. The manhunt was on. On October 24th, 2002 the two were arrested without incident in a Maryland rest stop.
After their initial “DC” area shooting on October 2, the pair had gone on to kill 9 more random citizens. The investigation also revealed that the pair were responsible for 4 additional homicides and 4 non-fatal shootings across the south in 2002. No solid motive was ever established for the killing spree. Muhammad was executed in 2009 and Malvo is serving several life sentences.