I, Sniper (2020–…): Season 1, Episode 1 - The Road to Washington, D.C. - full transcript

Lee Malvo and John Muhammad embark on a murderous journey.

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[ Siren wailing ]

-And it came in as
a medical-aid call.

It's a young, innocent girl.

A gunshot wound to the head

-There's blood on the floor.
There's blood on the wall.

-No apparent reason.


-Keenya was the first.

And it's sad to think
what happened here

and it's sad to
think what started here.

-Sniper attacks,
cold-blooded killer,

taking innocent life
is not the American I know.

-What appears
to be homegrown terror.

-Your children are not safe
anywhere, at anytime.

- Hello. This is a call from...
- Lee Malvo.

-...an inmate at the Virginia
Department of Corrections,

Red Onion State Prison."

-41-year-old man,

John Muhammad,
and a Jamaican-born teenager

-The sniper team that terrorized

the Washington
metropolitan area."

-19-11, I have one down.

There's blood all over.
I'm at the Mobil gas station...

-The most intense manhunts
in American history...

-The serial killer hunting
down random citizens.

-We have fear levels here

that I think are higher than
they were after September 11th.

-President Bush is talking
about fighting Iraq,

and we have a war zone right
here in his own country.

-Oh! Oh!

Oh, man! Oh, man."

-A mother's life cut short
by a single gunshot wound,

point-blank to the face.

Now police are looking for clues
in the murder of Keenya Cook.

-John Muhammad.

- Dad!

-Oh, man.

-You think you know somebody,
and you really don't know them.

-I met John in the Army.

Me and him hit it off
right away.

We were friends.

He became a great friend.

If John needed a place
to stay in town

or if he needed to use my car,
it was never a problem.

He came here and he stayed
at my house, you know?

So, when he came up to see me,

when I opened the door,
he had Malvo with him.

Lee Malvo.

He was telling me this story
about Lee was, like, homeless

or a child on his own
or something like that,

and John started
taking care of him.

And Lee was a good kid.

He never got out of line.

I never heard him swear
or anything.

He was just a quiet kid
that was respectful,

and he looked up to John.

Everybody thought
it was John's son

because he was just a kid.

He was always with John.

He actually kind of resembled
John a little bit, you know?

So it wasn't like anybody
would think anything, you know?

John took care of him
like he would have took care

of one of his kids.

They would go to the Y
every day, lift weights.

At night, they might go
for a run.

It was like he was training him.

Basically, getting him in shape

for whatever
they were going to do.

If he had to take off
and run a mile,

I guess he was ready to run
a mile, you know, whatever.

They would go
to the shooting range.

Nothing out of the ordinary.

"I'm hanging with my dad.
We're going to go shoot."

Whatever, you know.

-In hindsight,
everything on the table now,

you know, all the training,
all the, you know,

shooting at the range
and everything...

he was bred for that.

It wasn't like he ever discussed

what he was
specifically training him for.

So, right down here
is where he was shot.


Come here, I think of my dad
laying there dead.


The picture that you see
of my dad with the smile...

that's how my dad was
all the time.

The peacemaker.

You know?
He was the peacemaker.

He kept our family together.

-One of my staff came by
in a cart and says,

you need to come see this.

Something's very wrong."

When I got out here, you could
just see that there was a body,

and you could tell it had
been drug back under the bushes.

-We are treating this
as a homicide.

Our homicide detectives
are going to process the scene,

which extends
outside of the golf course

into the desert area,

and they're just about
to begin that right now.

-I was part of
the homicide team.

He had a gunshot wound
to the chest.

It was small in nature,
what led us to believe

it was possibly a rifle.

Next to the chain-link
fence up there was a wallet.

-I miss the way
he was with my boys,

the way he was with my mother.

He adored them.

He adored them.

-I was in homicide for 17 years.

I'd never seen
anything like this.

Out in the wide desert, we
weren't able to find anything.

-Let us know something.
We know absolutely nothing.

-Please, if anybody has
anything, anything,

any information on this,

please tell the police.

Please help us find out why.

-I grew up a
classic Italian family.

Very proud of being Italian.

They just have passion,

whether it be for food
or for art or for music,

and all those things were
really important in my life.

And we loved just
the restaurant business,

so we bought
an Italian restaurant.

We enjoyed the people.

Really fun place.

-It was good day.

We had an office party
in the evening.

When that was over, I left.

And my friends walked
to their car, which was...

One was right there.

One was right over here.

And I walked straight to my car,
like I always did.

I opened the driver's door,
sat in the car.

I shut the door.

I sensed, for a second,
just a shadow to my left,

and before I could turn my head,
I saw a flash of light.

After five shots,
incredible silence.

I groaned and I opened my eyes,

and I had some thoughts that...

maybe this was it.

The fear was, I didn't know
what it's going be like to die.

And I thought about my wife.
I thought about my grandkids.

I could see each one.

My son.

I actually thought of a funeral,
and it was for me.

And then I said, "No, that's
not gonna happen.

You know, that's...
I'm not going to die.

I'm not going to die
in a parking lot.

It can't end this way.

I'm not going to die
in this parking lot."

So, I got out of the car.

The blood was shooting out
of my body as my heart beat,

parabolic blood
going down the side of the car.

And then I turned and saw
my friend with the phone.

Both my lungs were collapsing.

They'd hit an artery.

One of the shots had hit me
in the spine,

so I was real close
to being paralyzed.

But I lucked out.

I got out of the hospital.

I was a nervous wreck.

Not knowing why it happened
and who did it.

Did he know my name?

Was he sure I was dead
when he walked away?

Who was I to him?

-But I got a dress rehearsal.

I know that when
you're close to it,

you're... you're not afraid.

-A mitigation specialist
looks at factors

in a person's life
that influence their conduct.

And, so, in 2003, I was tasked

with going to Jamaica

to investigate Lee Malvo...

how he would bring violence,

bring destruction,

and bring chaos
to the heart of America.

-She want him to have
a good education.

He was very bright
and was the type of child

to help who cannot understand
their bookwork.

That's how Lee used to be.

Lee said, "When I grown
up, I would like to be a pilot."

I'm telling,
it really, really hurt.

And I know that Lee
is hurting inside,

because this is not
what he wished to be in life.

To hold gun and to kill no one.

One thing I would ask
all fathers and mothers...

be careful.

See to it your children are
trained the way that

Jesus want us to train our
children and give them all love.

Because this is bitter.

It is bitter.

-When Lee was about 5 years old,

in the early '90s, Lee's mother,

Una James, decided
that she no longer

wanted to be in a relationship
with Leslie Malvo.

They decided to separate.

He was being separated
from his hero, his dad.

His father was the one
who would intervene

when his mother was too harsh
in her punishment.

-She would beat,
beat, beat, beat.

She have a beautiful son
and she never know.


-This is where Lee and I
spent a lot of time.

The children are taught that
for every, every dark cloud,

there is a silver lining.

For the first time, he said,
he got a room of his own.

All we gave Lee was love,

and that's all Lee ever wanted.

After having Lee
for almost two years,

Lee's mother called me.

She said, "He leaves
for Antigua tomorrow."

Very, very emotional
for all of us,

very painful for all of us,
because we wanted to

see Lee grow,
mature into an adult.

I had to tell him,
and he just looked lost.

You know where you're
at a crossroad

and you just don't know
where to turn?

He just stood there.

He just stood there
and he was there for about

10 minutes, and I said,
"Lee I can't change it.

There's nothing I can do.
I wish I could."

And then I remember, I got up
and I hugged him very tight

and I said, "Lee, we'll just
have to do it together."

We went together to the airport,

and he hugged me,
and he says, "I'll be back."

And I'm still waiting for him.

-John came back into town.

He told me... he says, "Robert,
I'll tell you what.

I'm gonna go get me an AR-15."

He liked rifles.

-Bull's Eye is a place
where people

who enjoy the shooting sports
buy supplies,

hang out, train,
and shoot recreationally.

Everyone, every citizen has that
right until they abuse it.

That's our constitutionally
God-given right.

Constitutionally granted,
God-given right.

Lee Malvo and John Muhammad...

I do recall meeting them
at a gun show.

I would have handed them
a business card

and said, "Go down to the shop
and talk to my employees."

-Okay, so, this is a Bushmaster
AR-15-style firearm.

It is the civilian version
of a military rifle,

so it is a very good,
you know, defense piece.

It's just fun to shoot.

It's very simple,
easy to maintain.

The ammunition
is readily available.

Light bullet, high velocity.

A very durable, easy-to-shoot,
very fun weapons system.

And how it's used...

That comes right back down
to the individual.

-John, he said, "Lee's a sniper.
Hey, this dude's a sniper."

You know, you might be
a marksman,

but, I mean, to me,
a sniper means

that you actually shot somebody
and killed them, okay?

So I just took it as B.S.

That was the last time
I saw him.

It was probably maybe a month,

two months
before all this started.

Somewhere along the line,

he just slipped
through the cracks.

I don't know what
the turning point was.

And what you have
is an American tragedy.

-Benny Oberoi
survived the attack.


Oh, man! Oh, man!

-A victim shot and killed
at this Atlanta liquor store.

-It was my idea.

I made her move over here.

My sister...
So, she decide to work

in a beauty supply store.

And I always feel so much guilt.

She was a beautiful, wonderful,
loveable person.

She was a wonderful
mother and wife.

She was only
six years older than me,

but sometimes just like my mom
and really close.

-I was actually coming from the

Baton Rouge General Hospital,
right here.

Some people had run out
in the road

and were waving us down saying,

"Stop, we need help,
we need help."

I saw somebody
laying on the ground.

She was very small in stature.

I remember her laying
in the parking lot.

It's just a normal person who
was closing her business

and expecting to go home
to her family.

We try and stay
really disconnected from,

I guess,
the emotional part of it.


But I just remember,
before they had

removed her from the scene,

there was a truck
that had pulled up here.

There was a little boy
in the front seat,

looking through the window,

and I just kept thinking,
"Please get him out of here,"

because, you know,
it was just so sad.

It was tragic.

-He was, at the time,
10 years old.

He saw his mom there.

After that,
went through a tough time,

'cause they were really close.

And he stayed in his room.

He didn't talk to nobody.

It was such difficult to see
him go through.

Even now.

That day, his life is finish.

And he's just making
his own world

and he tries so hard,
his little world himself.

He tries so hard.

Tried to do it right,

but he couldn't because
he need her home.

-I have worked a lot of calls

and a lot of tragic calls

and a lot of trauma
and violence in this city,

and, you know, after a while,
a lot of that runs together,

but this one...
It stands out in my mind.

The little boy in the truck.

That's why it sticks out
in my mind.


When it's the kids,
everybody feels it.

Those kids should still have
their mom, you know?

-After bringing Lee to Antigua,
Lee's mother left him.

He was surviving on his own,
out of this little shack.

-This is where
my shop used to be.

People around would come

and play games
or would surf the net.

-Lee went to the shop and he
saw this man with his son.

- Daddy!
- How you doing, baby girl?

Walk to dad!
That's right!

I can do anything
because my daddy told me.

He told me I can do it,
and I believe I can do it.

That's right.

-My little princess, Selena.

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