Published: Sun, May 06, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Highway sniper who shot 2 idolized Nikolas Cruz, sheriff says

Highway sniper who shot 2 idolized Nikolas Cruz, sheriff says

Multiple news outlets report investigators say they found handwritten "hate-filled" documents after searching the home of 26-year-old landscaper Rex Whitmire Harbour, of Snellville, that indicated he viewed Cruz as a "hero". The documents said that Cruz gave Harbour "courage and confidence".

The shooting of at least seven vehicles northbound on Georgia 365 happened about noon Friday.

One relative wrote about his love of hiking on Facebook: "hey your the best best hiker i have seen. this guy walked up 8 inches of snow blood mtn.in january previous year. a great hiker. the best", the man wrote under a photo that Rex Harbour posted.

The victims, a 54-year-old Gainesville man who suffered a gunshot wound to his hip, and a 73-year-old Demorest resident who was shot in his lower left leg, were transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.

The Hall County Sheriff's Office will continue to "actively investigate" the case, Couch said, adding that the agency's "thoughts and prayers continue for the victims and the families of those involved". Crouch said he struck a total of seven vehicles with gunshots.

State investigators and the Federal Bureau of Investigation turned up no criminal history.

Callers also said a second man had been hit by a bullet.

Authorities closed Georgia 365, a state highway, and set up a perimeter.

During the investigation, officials say deputies noticed a suspicious beige-colored Buick pulling out of a wooded area. One deputy ran toward the vehicle with a drawn weapon as he radioed for assistance and described the auto to other law enforcement officers.

Deputies discovered a motion-activated trail camera of the type used by hunters in the area of where Harbour had been, which caught some images of him as he passed by. "Harbour was wearing two holsters under his shirt".

Discovered inside Harbour's automobile have been three 9mm pistols, a 12-gauge shotgun, a BB gun and greater than 3,400 rounds of ammunition, the Atlanta Journal Structure reported.

The first 911 call came just before midday Friday from a motorist who said her husband had been shot, Couch said.

'What his motivation was other than just hate, we don't know at this time, ' Couch said. The gunman fired one shot into his head as he pulled out onto the road.

"He had the weapons, the ammunition and obviously he had the will to inflict a lot of pain and a lot of hate", Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch. "A 49-year-old local woman suffered a slight injury from a shattered windshield". He lost control of the vehicle which swerved into the median. Authorities chased Habour however he shot himself and died en route to a healthcare facility.

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