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Sniper Shattering Windows In Indiana?

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School Bus Window

A school bus window was shattered by a BB gun pellet in Crown Point, Ind. (credit: Crown Point Police Dept.)

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Updated: 1/6/11 – 4:53 p.m.

CROWN POINT, Ind. (WBBM/CBS) – Police in Northwest Indiana are on the lookout for a shooter, responsible for shattering five vehicle windows, including two school buses.

The string of attacks started on Christmas Eve and has escalated in the past few days.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, shots were fired at the windows at 109th Avenue near Interstate 65 and east of the expressway.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya Reports.

Police believe a sniper firing BBs or pellets is responsible.

Melissa Hilty, 34, of Porter County, Ind., was the latest victim. Her driver’s side window was shattered as she drove west on 109th Avenue near Arizona Street in Crown Point on Wednesday.

She called the experience “pretty scary; I’m glad my kids weren’t with me.”

For now, Hilty says she is going to stop driving on 109th Avenue.

“It’s a way that takes us into Crown Point, but there are some other ways we could go that would be safer until they find someone,” Hilty said.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, Don Duquette, who lives in Lakes of the Four Seasons near Crown Point said he was driving westbound on 109th Street, and just as he drove under the I-65 overpass, he heard a loud bang.

“I couldn’t see anything out of my back window because it was shattered,” Duquette said. “I was really scared, took me a few seconds to compose myself. A very, very scary experience.”

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said it appears the five incidents are linked to the same shooter. He has 12 deputies on this case and a helicopter searching from above.

While there were no students on the two school buses Tuesday morning when the vehicles were struck by pellets, the Crown Point Community School District said it won’t take any chances.

Personnel Director John Williams of the Crown Point Community Schools said school buses have been ordered not to take 109th Avenue, at least for the rest of this week. He says the buses will take new routes until further notice.

There have been no serious injuries in these cases.

Back in the summer and fall of 2006, more than 15 sniper shooting incidents were reported along Cline Avenue in the Gary, Ind., area, in which passing cars’ windows had been broken out. The FBI suspected that an assailant armed with a BB gun or slingshot was responsible.

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