Sniper who opened fire at cars on a Georgia highway idolized Parkland shooter
The Georgia sniper, Rex Harbour, who randomly opened fire at the vehicles moving on a highway with his pistol reportedly left behind a "hate-filled" manifesto praising Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, police on Saturday said.
The Hill County Sheriff's Office said that Harbour eventually died of self-inflicted wounds when confronted by authorities after the incident on Friday. The officer added that the sniper, in the manifesto, had written that the Parkland shooter gave him "courage and confidence."
A 19-year-old former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Florida, Cruz opened fire on the campus with his legally bought AR-15 rifle, killing 17 people. The massacre which occurred on February 14 claimed lives of mostly students and teachers of the school.
Cruz was later charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the first degree and 17 counts of attempted murder in the first degree.
Harbour, a 26-year-old landscaper-turned-shooter, reportedly fired at least 17 bullets on travelers from the cover of a forest along Georgia 365. The bullets hit at least two people and seven vehicles.
The incident was brought to the attention of the authorities after a woman called 911, saying that her 54-year-old husband had been struck by a bullet in the hip while they were heading north on the highway.
Police officials, during a press conference, said that after the woman's call for help, multiple drivers called the authorities after experiencing the gunfire.
Reports state that another person, a 73-year-old man, was also wounded in the incident as he was hit in his leg. A woman was also hurt after her windshield was shattered because of the bullet shower.
Shortly after the gunfire, police officials swarmed the woods and confronted the gunman as he attempted to drive away in a Buick Century, reports state.
As the officials approached him, Harbour shot himself in the head with a 9mm handgun, which caused his car to veer out of control and it eventually crashed into the median.
The officials said that Harbor succumbed to his injuries while being airlifted to a hospital in Atlanta.
After inspection, officials found a trove of weapons in Harbour's car along with a game camera which had captured him hiking to the vantage point near the highway.
Sheriff Gerald Couch said: "What his motivation was other than just hate, we don't know at this time. He had the weapons, the ammunition and obviously the will to inflict a lot of harm and a lot of hate."
Officials, while searching his parents' home — where the gunman lived — found certain documents which suggested that Harbour idolized the Parkland school shooter.