ROCKVILLE, Md. – The final victim of the deadly Washington-area sniper spree was able to describe the attack before he succumbed to his injuries, a police officer testified Monday.
"He told me the shot came from the woods," said Montgomery County police officer James Cherry, the first officer on the scene where bus driver Conrad Johnson was shot. "He told me he had been shot in the chest."
John Allen Muhammad, now on trial for Johnson's death and five other killings in Maryland, is already on death row in Virginia for of the sniper attacks. Montgomery County prosecutors have built a chronological case against him, laying out the October 2002 shooting spree that left 10 dead and three wounded.
Last week, the three survivors told jurors about the confusion, fear and pain when they realized they had been shot. Family members of those who died also took the stand, describing the shock when they learned of the killings.
Muhammad and then-teenager Lee Boyd Malvo were arrested at a highway rest stop with a high-powered Bushmaster rifle in the trunk of their car. Prosecutors have forensic evidence that most of the .223-caliber bullets used came from the Bushmaster. Muhammad's DNA was found on the gun. Jurors are also expected to see the car, which was rigged with a hole in the trunk where a shooter could fire undetected.
Muhammad, who is acting as his own attorney, asked many witnesses whether they saw the shooter or have "direct knowledge" about the culprit. All said no. He questioned whether witnesses' memories were swayed by media coverage after his arrest.
In his opening statement, Muhammad said he and Malvo were simply in the area to look for his children, who were with his ex-wife.
Malvo, serving a life term in Virginia, is scheduled to go on trial in the fall for the same six killings, but he may plead guilty and testify in Muhammad's case.
They pair also have been linked to earlier shootings in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Washington state.