A 16-year old boy, armed with a high-powered rifle with telescopic sights, killed two motorists, injured twelve and finally shot himself after a gun battle with police on Sunday (25 April).
Policeman with field glasses
Cars lined up
People take cover
Body of sniper
People around body
Sniper's body taken away
Victim in car
People getting in car
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Background: A 16-year old boy, armed with a high-powered rifle with telescopic sights, killed two motorists, injured twelve and finally shot himself after a gun battle with police on Sunday (25 April). He hid in tall grass on a hillside overlooking U.S. Highway 101 near Santa Maria, California, firing at the cars below. He killed himself as police closed in.
The boy, Michael Andrew Clark, ran away from home Saturday night driving his mother's car. (It was later found wrecked near the site of the shooting). For as yet unknown reasons, he took up the hillside position and began firing shortly after dawn. Police said later he had about fifty cartridges. A motorist, Stanley Manning, was fired on but escaped and called police. While he was doing so, the youth shot another motorist in the head, killing him. The passenger in yet a third car was shot and killed. The driver, Kathleen Smith, abandoned the car and ran for help, encountering a state highway patrolman who sped to the scene. He was shot in the arm as he got out of his car to investigate. A family of five was fired on, critically wounding an infant and badly wounding the father, mother and one other child.
When police reinforcements arrived, a truck drived put his vehicle across the line of fire to give the officers a barricade. Firing steadily, the police moved in. Finally, the youth turned the rifle and shot himself between the eyes. The reign of terror on the highway lasted about two hours.
The boys parents were unable to say why he had run away from home or why we had started shooting. His friends and teachers were reported baffled. They described him as "a real fine boy", a gold musician, quiet and a student.