Obetz, Ohio, population 4,000, is at the center of a mystery about the “I-270 Sniper.” This town near Columbus is located on a seven-mile stretch of I-270 and Route 23 where one person has been killed and 14 other shots fired. The Christian Science Monitor notes that the pattern is “so random and so focused on one area that schools have kept kids inside at recess, thousands of commuters have rerouted their drives, and nearly every conversation here eventually drifts back to the sniper.”
Police have refusing to give a profile or make conjectures. The shooter has hit as many as 13 vehicles, an elementary school, and a house, but it is not clear whether the sniper pulls the trigger from a moving car or while lying in wait along the road. While the investigation continues, some motorists are avoiding the I-270, rediscovering back roads they hadn’t used in years.
Police have dealt with more than 1,700 tips. Last week, security cameras were installed along the most targeted stretch. Nearly every Obetz resident has a theory. Some think it’s a gang initiation rite, others say it’s someone laid off and angry. By far the most prevalent theory is that it’s a teenager.