Sniper Probe Widens

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According to the Baton Rouge Police Department, ballistic tests have matched the rifle used in the Washington-area sniper killings with the fatal shooting of a beauty shop worker in that city.

Police Chief Pat Englade said first-degree murder warrants have been issued for 41-year-old John Allen Muhammad and 17-year-old John Lee Malvo in the Sept. 23 killing of 45-year-old Hong Im Ballenger.

The two suspects already face multiple state and federal charges for
a fatal shooting in Alabama and the series of sniper shootings in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia that left 10 dead and three wounded.

Police say Ballenger was shot once in the head. Witnesses described the gunman as a young black man who fled into a park.

Police say the rifle may have been involved in a second shooting in Baton Rouge that did not result in a fatality. Englade said their investigation into a second shooting is continuing.

Muhammad and Malvo have been in federal custody since their Oct. 24 arrest at a Maryland rest stop. Authorities recovered the Bushmaster rifle from the 1990 Chevrolet Caprice in which the two were found sleeping.