I, Sniper (2020–…): Season 1, Episode 7 - The Blue Caprice - full transcript

With the entire region on the lookout for a blue Caprice, the snipers' car is spotted by an alert citizen in the dead of night.

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-The Capitol area sniper
has killed nine people,

and a law enforcement army is
after the shooter, or shooters.

-They have a very strong
lead in this case

-The victim was shot
as he stood on the top step

of a ride-on bus at Grand Pre
Road and Georgia Avenue.

No word on his condition.

-He dropped a piece of evidence.

That turned out to be
the owners' manual

for the Bushmaster rifle.

It had 36 fingerprints
of identifiable quality

in that magazine.



-Authorities said
the possibility

that a sniper and driver

are working together
is gaining credence.

-Then I was like, "Okay, that's
the kid, and that's John."

-Well, it started with Lee Malvo

enrolling
in the high school here,

and there was questions whether
Lee Malvo had entered

the country legally.

The school had
a pretty hard time

trying to get any information
out of him.

We have John Muhammad,

a gentleman that's referred to
as his father,

as his guardian, a friend.

Uh, we don't know
what he's doing.



It just didn't add up.

So we reached out to his mother.

-I got a call from Al Jensen,
asking for help.

He suggested that they were
frequently known to hang out

at the YMCA
in downtown Bellingham.

The manager confirmed
that they're in the building

but where, I don't know.

When I heard voices and...
Coming from the locker room.

I walked in and was immediately
surprised by Lee Malvo

and John Muhammad

coming out of the shower area
of the locker room naked.

The hair on my neck went up
because I thought,

"This is not normal
to see a father figure

and his son coming out of a
group shower together like this.

What have I stumbled into here?"

I showed him my badge and I.D.
and asked, "Are you Lee Malvo?"

And he said, "Yes sir."

And I asked Lee Malvo,
"Is he with you?"

And, to me,
it's an obvious question.

You just came out
of the gym naked with him.

Obviously, you're together,
and Lee said, "Yes."

I asked John Muhammad,
"Are you with him?"

And he wouldn't answer me.

I said, "I'm talking to you.

He said he's with you.
Are you with him?"

"No."

"Okay, do you want to go
with him to the station?"

"No."

I drove Lee Malvo back
to the Bellingham station

to process him for deportation
as a stowaway.

We took photographs
and fingerprints,

which are not
normally required for juveniles.

And that was the last
I ever saw of him.

- 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.

-"Sniper team that terrorized

the Washington
metropolitan area."

-19-11 I have one down.
There's blood all over.

-For three weeks,

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.

-Ohh! Oh!

Oh, man! Oh, man!

-This was found at the shooting

of the Montgomery County bus
driver, Conrad Johnson.

It's an additional note
left from the shooters.

Looks a lot like the note
found at the Ponderosa.

The same stars,
same handwriting.

"For you Mr Police.
Call me God.

Your incompetence
has cost you another life.

Do not play these childish games
with us.

You know our demands.

Next person, your choice.

P.S. Your children
are not safe."

-CNN did not report yesterday,
at the request

of law enforcement officials,
that within that letter,

there were also unspecified
threats made against children

if certain demands were not met.

-The media wanted to know
what was said,

the public wanted to know
what was said,

and I went to the chief
and I said

that this is sort of
getting a life of its own.

"They think we're jeopardizing
the children.

They don't trust us. This...
We have to say something."

-Here comes Chief Charles Moose,

the man of the hour, if you
will, taking the podium.

-We recognize the concerns
of the community,

and therefore are going
to provide the exact language

in the message
that pertains to the threat.

It is in the form
of a postscript.

"Your children are not safe
anywhere at any time."

-It was a very helpless feeling
and a frustrating feeling...

Own up to the fact
that we can't protect you,

we can't stop this,

we haven't been able
to stop this,

and the shooter
is basically gloating.

And it hurt to say it.

-A chilling message released
by Maryland police

just moments ago, believed
to have come from the sniper.

-Children are not safe anytime,
anywhere.

-Fear tightened its grip
on the region.

A sniper considers
their children targets.

-I don't understand this being
nice to the police.

They're dismal failures.

-The Chief said the other day,

"You're not the one responsible
for catching this guy.

We are. And until that changes,
let us do our job.

-You're not doing the job.
You haven't caught him.

You don't even know
what he looks like.

We don't know if it's a man,
a boy.

-Yeah, Pam, Zack,
is your mom there?

Hey, sweetie.

At the end of the conference,
they read a statement.

The guy said,

"P.S. Your children are not safe
anywhere at any time."

Just keep them...
Keep them in the backyard.

Don't let them ride their bikes
or anything.

I mean, we'll send them
to school,

but I'll take them to school.

They waited until today
to tell us that,

and that happened Saturday.

So, you know,
that's the kind of stuff

that really pisses you off
as a parent.

I want to know that stuff
when it happens.

I don't want to be told
about it three days later.

-You drive all around
the country and, um,

everybody's got
their little police car painted,

and, you know, and it's
"to serve and protect."

Well, you know, we didn't...

We didn't fulfill
the bargain of protect.

-We were trying our best, but it
just always will be in my mind,

a real failure, um,
that we couldn't protect them.

-Investigators are scouring
for any evidence,

like a bullet casing,

that a sniper
might have left behind.

-We were really sucking it up

and thinking about, "Damn it.

You know, what are we missing?
What can we do?

Where are we dropping
the ball here?

Something's got to give."

-It's amazing to me

that somebody could actually
shoot 13 people

without leaving any evidence
behind, other than these notes.

-That fingerprint from
the magazine that was found

at a shooting
in Montgomery, Alabama,

it was just another little piece
of a puzzle sitting out there.

Our task force decided,

lets run that fingerprint
against the database,

which includes
immigration records.

And there was a match.

-I got the phone call
from the command post

telling me that the fingerprint
had returned

to an immigrant from Jamaica,

a Lee Boyd Malvo.

-Who is Lee Boyd Malvo?
Who may he be associated with?

Where does he live?

And that's when we started
to piece things together.

-They had discovered the arrest

that I had made
about a year ago.

These are a copy
of Lee Malvo's fingerprints

that I took when
I processed him for deportation.

They were submitted to the FBI.

-I had that file within
a-a very short period of time.

There was a photograph included

with his
immigration information.

And then I saw references
within that record

to John Allen Muhammad
or John Allen Williams.

And in one of those reports,

Lee Malvo was referenced
as Muhammad's son.

You kind of get a feel for when
you've got good information

in these types of cases,

and this was
one of those moments

where we have something here.

We've got to really
dig into this.

I start gathering information

on John Allen Muhammad,
John Allen Williams,

all of his military records.

I now see John Allen Muhammad's
ex-wife.

Now I saw reports related
to Mildred Muhammad

and a kidnapping, at one time,
regarding his own children.

She was a critical piece to me

that brings John Muhammad
into the Maryland area.

And my theory at that time
is that Lee Malvo,

who in their world is his son,
they are together.

-The D.C. sniper task force
were trying to dig up

as much information they could
about a John Muhammad.

I heard the name, and I said,

"Hey, I had just received
a call the other day

regarding that, on the tip line
from Robert Holmes."

It became very urgent
that we contact him,

so I called Mr. Holmes
into the office,

and from that point on,
things went 100 miles an hour.

-I just told them I think
I know who the D.C. sniper is.

I said he was a buddy of mine
in the army,

John Allen Muhammad,

and he may be travelling
with, uh, Lee Boyd Malvo.

-He advised us that both
Lee Malvo and John Muhammad

were at his residence
three times

within the last six months.

They had an assault rifle
with a sniper, uh, scope on it.

-And that's when I asked them,

if they got a bullet
from the AR-15,

could you match it
to the bullets in the killings?

And he said, "Yeah," and I said,

"Well, he fired into
the tree stump in my backyard."

I believe he was about right
here, in relation to the...

To the trunk that's right there.

-We decided, "Okay, we need
to get that tree stump."

-I was still working on pictures
of John Allen Williams

or John Allen Muhammad.

I had found a California
driver's license,

and I got a hold of a friend
of mine out in San Diego,

and I said, "I need
a picture of this guy."

He called me at 1:30, 2:00
in the morning, and he said,

"Hey, I've got your picture,
when do you need this?"

I said, "I need it right now."

He said,
"Well, what's the hurry?"

I said,
"Well, take a good look at it,

because I believe you're
looking at one of the snipers

involved in the shootings
here in the Washington area."

I began to call around
to the different command posts.

"Has any police officer
around the country

made an inquiry
on John Allen Muhammad?"

I started getting information
coming in,

and one piece
caught my attention.

The Baltimore Police department
had made an inquiry

into John Muhammad
on October 8th.

Officer Jim Snyder detained him
in a parking lot,

but he had no reason to further
his investigation at that point.

He confirmed
that driver's license

is the one that I'm looking at
in all my paperwork,

so now I know it's him.

Officer Snyder was able
to write down the vehicle.

It was a 1990 Chevy Caprice
with a New Jersey tag.

NDA 21Z.

The FBI were able to search
this particular license plate...

...and came up with more
than a dozen inquiries

from law enforcement,
all the way from Richmond,

up into Maryland,
over a month's period of time.

Huge piece of information

because now it puts them
in the area

during the time
of the shootings.

I was convinced.

These are the guys.

-There was a knock on my door.

"Is Mildred Muhammad here?"

"Who are you?"
They said, "We're with the FBI."

I said "Okay that's me."

There was an agent walking back
and forth

in the room on the phone.

He stops, and he says,

"Look, Miss Muhammad, we're
just gonna have to tell you.

We're gonna name
your ex-husband as the sniper."

I said, "What? John?"

My head hit the table.

They said, "Yes, Miss Muhammad.

Do you think he would do
something like this?"

I raised my head.
I said, "What?

Yeah."

I been trying to tell you that
this man is gonna kill me,

and y'all not listening.

They said, "Would you like to go
into protective custody?"

I said,
"Have you caught him yet?"

"No ma'am."

"Do you know where he is?"
"No ma'am."

"And you still have to ask me,

do I want to go into
protective custody?"

"Yes, ma'am, we do."

"Yes, sir, I want to go
into protective custody."

-Can everybody please
stand down?

The press conference
is gonna be delayed.

- How long?
- Indefinitely at this time.

We're gonna come out
in just a few minutes.

Captain Demme will come out
and explain or talk through.

-The day was moving fast
and furiously.

We're pretty sure that

these are the two individuals
that are involved,

but without warrants,
we can't put it out.

I appreciate you gathering.

Unfortunately, there have
been developments in the case

that we need to really focus on
right now,

and we are not going to be
holding a press conference.

- She's nervous.
- It's kind of mysterious.

But maybe it means some progress
-Who knows?

He could've called.
He could've not called.

Have they got a tip?

-I would bet my paycheck that,
uh, they're gonna come out

with something tonight.

They have to.

-It is so close
and the task force has got names

and they're keeping it close...
Enough time to build a case.

I was praying nobody leaks it.

Don't even tell me.

Don't tell anybody. I wouldn't.

-We got out here
where Mr. Holmes was living,

in an effort to recover
ballistic evidence.

Tried to keep it
a very low-key search.

Uh, that was the goal.

We did not want to tip off, uh,
Mr. Muhammad and Lee Malvo.

-"Get a couple of people,
put on flannel shirts.

No one needs... can find out
about what you're doing."

-This is the scene unfolding
tonight in Tacoma, Washington.

Investigators have been
picking their way

through the backyard of a home.

-We had news helicopters
flying over.

The news media was down the
block from Mr. Holmes' residence

and, very quickly,
this information

was on national news.

-FBI agents, ATF agents
had swarmed into this home.

-We're in the office talking,
and someone says

"Hey, take a look at MSNBC."

-Investigators have been picking
their way

through the backyard of a home.

We're told they're looking for
bullet fragments to see

if they match fragments found in
the D.C.-area sniper shootings.

-Perhaps lodged
in the tree stump,

carefully cut and removed
from the property.

-If he's seeing this,
he knows that his time is up.

I start crying riding down
the road that night

because, I said, when they catch
him they're gonna kill him.

-We didn't have the one critical
piece of information

we still needed at that point.

And that's where they were.

-We had a big discussion about,

do we look for the car
and the plate,

or do we use the media
and put the plate out

and have all the people
in the world look for the car?

The risk is that, if they're
sitting there watching TV,

then they know to get rid
of the car.

And I have to admit I was
probably somewhat apprehensive

about that.

-And, basically, we just said,
"It's gonna get leaked,

so the decision will be made
for us shortly."

-I... what I did next
was probably something

that, uh, the leadership up
in Montgomery

probably did not want me to do.

I had a "Be On the Lookout"
national teletype

sent across the country.

I also knew that the media
monitored those broadcasts,

and that they would
pick up on that.

-Are you hearing about
a New Jersey vehicle?

- Yeah.
- License tags...

-1990 caprice.

-We've just learned that police
in the D.C. area

have issued a lookout
for a 1990 Chevy Caprice

-We also have a
license-plate number...

NDA-21Z.

-The media puts it out...
The car and the tag information.

I didn't have it yet,
to put out.

Neither did the other P.I.s,
but I was like

"Okay, well if they've got it,

and they've got it out there,
good for them."

I mean, there... there was
nothing we could do now.

This thing was moving
in front of us.

-There's a huge juggernaut

gathering steam
behind the scenes right now.

As soon as someone spots this
car, they're going to respond.

-Get that camera out
of my face, okay?

-We the jury find the defendant
not guilty.

-The Police Chief Charles Moose

is coming to the microphone
right now.

The doors are opening.

-A federal arrest warrant

has been issued
for John Allen Muhammad,

also known
as John Allen Williams.

He should be considered armed
and dangerous

and he may be
in the company of a juvenile.

-The serial sniper investigation
takes some dramatic twists.

-Finally, police are putting
a name out there.

-Believed to be blue
or burgundy in color.

License number... NDA 21Z.

-Breaking developments
in this case,

a man wanted for questioning by
the name of John Allen Williams

or a John Allen Muhammad.

-Okay, I got the picture.

-This thing has engaged.

It's gonna be
an enormous manhunt

by virtually everybody
in the country at this point.

-This guy is never going to
give himself up

because he is playing this
to the end.

He wants his fantasy
to come true.

-I was working
the Washington, D.C., area

servicing several supermarkets.

It was probably about 11:00,
11:30.

Was kind of tired, so,

"Well,
I'll just head on home."

-With the latest
on the investigation,

lets go live to police
headquarters in Rockville.

-We've just learned
that police in the D.C. area

have issued a lookout
for a 1990 Chevy Caprice.

-We also have
a license-plate number...

NDA 21Z.

-That was the first time
they had ever said anything else

besides a white van.

I scribbled down the tag number.

New Jersey tag... NDA-21Z

-So, is the white box truck
out in your opinion?

-The white box truck
is out at this point.

-Just when I was getting
on the beltway,

Chief Moose started to give
his press conference.

-A federal arrest warrant
has been issued

for John Allen Muhammad also
known as John Allen Williams.

He should be considered
armed and dangerous.

He may be in the company
of a juvenile.

-As I got up closer to
Frederick, Maryland, there

on Route 70,

I was starting to feel the urge
to use the restroom.

Thought, "Well, I'll stop up

at the rest area
on South Mountain."

-It's a New Jersey plate.

John Muhammad
is believed to be...

-As I pull up into the car lot,

my headlights hit
the front quarter panel

of a dark blue Caprice.

-The all-points bulletin is that
they're armed

and extremely dangerous,
and they warn, of course,

even police to be on the lookout
and be concerned about the fact

that they could be armed
and dangerous.

-I read the tag off.

My heart started racing.

I was like, "Oh, man,
that's it."

And I was really
excited by then.

I could hear them,
but they couldn't hear me,

and they hung up on me.

So I knew I was gonna have
to move to get cell service.

So I pulled on over into the
truck area, and I called again.

-We had just moved into
this facility,

so we didn't have any TVs.

We didn't have radios.

We were unaware that there
was a new lookout put out.

It was kind of a quiet night.

Out of the clear, blue sky,
one of my operators says

"Hey, I have this guy reporting
that he is with the blue Caprice

that is being put out
for the lookout on the radio,"

and my first thought is,
"What are you talking about?"

We had no idea that they were
looking for a blue Caprice.

I have to call down to
the command center,

and lo and behold, it's true.

We need to get police officers
up there right away.

-The duty officer says,
"Frederick car 662,

switch over to private channel."

Something was up.

And he proceeds to tell me

that they believe the sniper car
was in the rest area.

That was a brief moment there
where I think my heart stopped.

Are the snipers in that car?

If they were, the odds were
very, very good

that we were about to get into
a life-and-death gun battle.

-I was fired up. This is what
we've been waiting for.

-We got the call to be flown up
by our State Police helicopter.

The biggest concern was that
we didn't want that vehicle

leaving that rest stop.

-I love helicopters,
I'm not going to lie about it,

and, yeah, I was like,
"Yippee ki-yay. Here we go."

-When we land,
we all loaded up...

And we parked
at the bottom of the ramp.

At that point, we moved right up
into the wood line.

We're looking at points of cover
to go to

if we start to get
into a shootout.

There's no room for error.

-State police told me,
"From here on out,

no matter what happens,
you stay in your van.

Stay in your van
till we come and get you."

-I never thought
that they would both be sleeping

at the same time.

Just never, never would've
occurred to me.

-Malvo had that dead-shark
look on his face.

He looked like if he had
the chance, he'd kill us all.

So I made a point to say

"Trooper, if this man so much
as flinches, snap his neck."

-The most important thing
in the whole case was the gun.

I think everybody was thinking,
"God, get that rifle."

-We had pulled up the back seat,

and there's a rifle.

Pointed in my direction
but it was... there was a rifle.

It was a great relief
that these were in fact

the people we were looking for.

-Breaking news from WTOP.

-Two people sought by police
in connection

with the sniper investigation

are now under arrest
this morning.

We have very fast-developing
details on this...

-We expect more on this story
when Chief Moose

holds a news briefing
in about an hour from now.

-I'm glad we can laugh again.

-We want the Moose!

-Forward pattern.

-It was a great relief to know

that you were getting
the chance to go out

and say that it was over.

They just needed to hear that.

I just thought,
"Oh, my God, man.

I'm just going to be the guy
that didn't catch them."

Weeks, months, years,
and then its gonna be,

finally on the tombstone said,
"He didn't catch them."

-And I remember there was
a bunch of little girls

from one of the high schools
who came in with balloons.

Y-You felt like
you didn't deserve that,

but they're just saying,
"Thank you

for giving us back our lives."

- Chief Moose rocks.
- He's awesome.

- Do you feel safe now?
- Yes.

-All of the men and women
who have taken the oath

and served in
the law-enforcement community,

we do it for those victims
and their families,

so we will never forget.

We'll never know their pain.

And we only wish
we could've stopped this.

-It was almost like
a presentation at a funeral.

It was respectful
of the people who had died

and the people who were,

you know, now gonna have
their lives back.

-You know, I got myself ready.

Thank you, Chief.

Sorry to keep everyone
waiting tonight.

And I knew what I was gonna say
and release,

and it was important that I was
gonna say every victim's name.

October 3rd, Premkumar Walekar
in Montgomery County.

Sarah Ramos, Montgomery County.

Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera,
Montgomery County.

Pascal Charlot,
Washington, D.C.

A female was wounded
in Spotsylvania County.

A child was wounded
in Prince George's County.

Dean Harold Meyers,
Prince William County, Virginia.

Kenneth Bridges,
Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

Linda Franklin,
Fairfax County, Virginia.

A gentleman was wounded
in Hanover County, Virginia.

Conrad Johnson,
Montgomery County, Maryland.

-It came across the news
that they were caught.

We were relieved.

But then I'm like, "Two days."

Oh, my gosh.
You know, if only...

If only they could've
caught them two days earlier,

my husband would still be alive,

and we could still
go on with our lives.

-In that trailer
is the automobile.

There goes the vehicle now.
You can see it.

It just goes past us
right there.

-Maryland authorities hope
to charge Muhammad

and his 17-year-old accomplice

with 6 counts
of first-degree murder tomorrow.

-I turned on the TV.

They showed his face.

And I walked over to the TV,
put my hand on the screen,

and said,
"What happened to you?"

My son was crying on one bed.

My daughters
were crying on the other.

I pulled them together
and Taalibah said,

"Mommy, what did Daddy do?
What did Daddy do?"

I said, "Honey, they said
he killed some people."

And they just cried themselves
to sleep.

-One of the most intense
and complicated manhunts

in American history
is coming to an end.

-Virginia Prosecutors could
pursue capital-murder charges

against the 17-year-old suspect,
Malvo,

if he is tried as an adult.
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