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Bush ‘Sick’ About Sniper Attacks

October 14, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush said Monday he is sickened by a two-week deadly sniper spree and worried about Washington-area citizens still gripped by fear with the gunman on the loose.

``I’m just sick _ sick to my stomach _ to think that there is a cold-blooded killer at home taking innocent life,″ Bush told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before he left for a trip to Michigan. ``The idea of moms taking their kids to school and sheltering them from a potential sniper attack is not the America that I know.″

While saying the White House has ``no evidence one way or the other″ on whether terrorists committed the seemingly random shootings that have killed eight people and injured two more since Oct. 2, Bush nonetheless called the attacks ``a form of terrorism.″

``Any time anybody is randomly shooting, randomly killing, randomly taking life, it’s cold-blooded murder, and it’s, you know, it’s a sick mind that obviously loves terrorizing society,″ the president said.

Bush, who receives updates on the shootings during his daily FBI briefing, pledged continued help from the federal government in the multiagency investigation. The administration has asked federal law enforcement officers to give all the assistance they can to local police who are immersed in the hunt for the gunman.

``We’ll do everything we can to capture whoever that might be and bring him to justice,″ Bush said.

Bush appeared haunted by the image of frightened parents ushering their children to school in the hope that would keep them safer.

A 13-year-old boy shot last Monday as he was dropped off at school in Bowie, Md., remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition as Bush spoke.

``I pray for the families who grieve and suffer, and I worry about a society where moms can’t take their kids to school,″ Bush said. ``It’s obviously a terrible, terrible situation.″

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