Suspect Captured In Dallas Freeway Shootings

DALLAS (AP) - A man suspected in a series of rush hour shootings
near Dallas is a former Utah state trooper wanted on burglary and
robbery warrants who apparently shot himself after a standoff with
police, authorities said Tuesday

Brian Smith, 37, killed at least one of the victims of Monday's shootings, Dallas police Lt. Craig Miller said. Investigators tied Smith to a killing in Dallas because by matching the bullets found at the standoff, he said.

"We feel safe in saying (Smith) ... was the shooter," Miller said.

Dallas police declined to comment on a second death in neighboring Garland, where the standoff took place, because it was out of their jurisdiction.

Garland police spokesman Joe Harn said his department has not been able to make a definitive connection between Smith and the killing there, but acknowledged that he fit the description of the highway shooter: a balding, 40ish white man.

"We certainly hope it is him," Harn said. "But we are going to have to see more concrete evidence."

Two people were shot and killed and another person was injured by broken glass in four shootings along or near a Dallas-area highway Monday evening. Police believe the victims were selected at random.

Smith was in critical condition Tuesday night at a Dallas hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police said he shot himself in the head early Tuesday morning after a brief standoff more than six hours after the shooting spree ended.

Smith had been a Utah state trooper since 1996 but retired in May because of "personal issues," said Sgt. Jeff Nigbur, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety.

The crime spree appears to have begun in Garland, where a man
police identified as Smith jumped over a pharmacy counter at a grocery store and stole Oxycontin pills.

Minutes later, the first shooting happened in Garland when a driver pulled up alongside a small Nissan stopped at a red light and began shooting, Harn said. The Nissan's driver, 20-year-old Jorge "George" Lopez of Rowlett, was killed.

Minutes later on the same highway, a gunman shot and killed a Kentucky man, 42-year-old William Scott Miller. He was the driver of a United Van Lines rig, police Lt. Craig Miller said. Police said the driver, who was about to fly home to his wife and two young daughters in Frankfort for the holidays, was able to bring his truck safely to a stop
before he died.

"The act he did in and of itself I consider to be heroic," Lt. Miller said. "Despite being mortally wounded, he was able to control his rig to the point where other drivers weren't injured."

After the shooting of Miller, another semitrailer was fired upon a half-mile away on the same interstate. The driver, 46-year-old Gary Roberts, was injured by debris and glass but not struck by any bullets. His right eye was hit by shattered glass and he needed several stitches in his fingers, said Bedford Wilhite, who works with Roberts at Dugan Truck Line.

Roberts is home recuperating after being treated at a hospital, Wilhite said. Roberts, who has worked for Dugan for about a year, told Wilhite he is "much blessed and thankful to be alive."
Associated Press writers Regina L. Burns, Andre Coe and Anabelle
Garay in Dallas contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Carol -UVL Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Jan 9, 2009 at 11:21 AM
    As a long time employee with United Van Lines, my heart especially goes out to the friends and family of one of our own. My condolences to the all the friends and families affected by this horrible senseless act of violence.
  • by Lynn Location: Vancouver, Canada on Dec 30, 2008 at 07:58 AM
    I work for United Van Lines (Canada) and I wish to express my deepest sympathy to Mr. Miller's wife and children at this time of sorrow in their lives. I would not however lay the blame on a TV program, as we are all supposedly taught from infancy, right from wrong.
  • by Cheryl Location: Calgary, A.B on Dec 30, 2008 at 07:58 AM
    I just want to say, I work for United Van Lines all so And my heart goes out to the Miller Family.Our office here in Calgary will keep his family in our thoughts as we all try to understand WHY.
  • by Steve Location: Lexington on Dec 25, 2008 at 04:28 PM
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the Miller family at this horrible time. To those who are saying the guy "got this idea" from a TV're nuts. He was a STATE TROOPER (retired) from another state, I'm sure he had seen much worse in his career. Another thing, freeway shootings are not uncommon. Remember the guys in Maryland, DC, Columbus, and Tacoma? Not to mention the weekly freeway "road rage" shootings in LA, so this is not giving people ideas...some people are just bad people, and they do bad things. They all need Jesus and some peace in their lives, but trust me the TV show didn't do this...their own bad choices and a little help from the forces of evil is what set this off...not Criminal Minds.
  • by Citizen Location: Paintsville on Dec 25, 2008 at 04:10 PM
    Are Cops going crazy these days? What is going on? I hear so much about Cops shooting and killing innconent people, no wonder citizens are killing cops.
  • by Brian Anderson Location: georgetown,ky on Dec 24, 2008 at 11:30 PM
    I just want send my thoughts prayers to the Miller family.I to drive for United Van Lines,and it was a senseless act by a coward who took the life of a man just trying to get home for the holidays.As a truck driver myself,all we want to do is to do our job and make it safely back home to our family and friends.The road is such a dangerous place just with what we do,it is a same that a good man that loved his wife and kids so much,that a coward cut his life short is just a shame.Please keep the Miller family in your thoughts prayers.
  • by grumpy on Dec 24, 2008 at 07:01 AM
    more copy cat crimes starting up the idiots see it on tv hear it on the news and try it
  • by thats what i thought Location: kentucky on Dec 24, 2008 at 03:58 AM
    You just never know what's going to happen. And yes, the Criminal Minds episode last week was eerily similiar to this real life event and that's the first thing I thought of when I heard this..Weird stuff
  • by Gil Location: Kentucky on Dec 24, 2008 at 03:35 AM
    My prayers are with the families of those lost and I hope that everyone remembers William Scott Miller not only as a truck driver, a father. a husband and son, but also as a Hero.His final actions have been reported to have saved many more lives by safely bringing that big rig to a halt.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 23, 2008 at 05:12 PM
    my heart and prayers are with this family. i hope they catch the cowardly punk who is responsible for this.
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