BEREA, Ohio – A 65-year-old man apparently drove through the Cleveland suburbs and randomly shot at moving cars several times over the span of four months, authorities said Friday in announcing his arrest.
Paul Hausmann is suspected of shooting at four vehicles in Berea and a fifth in Strongsville, his hometown, between mid-August and mid-December, Berea Police Chief Mark Schulz said. No one was hurt.
There may have been other targets, the chief said.
"I'm sure there are people out there who were shot at and didn't know it," Schulz said.
Hausmann has not provided any detailed statements to police and no motive was known, Schulz said. He apparently was shooting randomly while at the wheel, said Lance Kimmell, of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
"When you're shooting at cars, you simply don't know whether you're going to hit the occupant or not," Kimmell said.
Hausmann was arrested Tuesday on information developed from tips and charged with felony assault and carrying with concealed weapons, Schulz said. He had a revolver and ammunition "consistent with the caliber rounds recovered at the shootings," Schulz said.
Ruth Hagen, whose car was struck by a bullet in October, said she was relieved.
"I've been avoiding that area because that seemed to be where he was lurking," she said. "I'll feel much safer driving there or anywhere."
Hagen, of Columbia Station, was driving to a health club when she heard a thud. A day later, her husband discovered a bullet hole below the rear bumper.
Hausmann was taken to the Cuyahoga County Jail in Cleveland and was awaiting a bond hearing Friday.
The shootings had led police to increase patrols in the area and talk with residents. The announcement of the arrest came a week after authorities posted a $5,000 reward.
Tips that led to the arrest included a man who told police on Dec. 3 that he had seen someone who may have been holding a weapon behind the wheel of a green Ford Focus.
Earlier this week, a woman called police to say she had heard five gunshots, Schulz said. About the same time, a police officer on patrol nearby saw a green Ford Focus and ran the plate number, providing police with Hausmann's name as a possible suspect.
Hausmann was arrested Tuesday when he unexpectedly returned home while police had his home under surveillance. He was wearing shooting earmuffs at the time, the police chief said.