JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A sniper firing from a wooded area off Interstate 95 hit nine cars and injured six people in a 30-minute barrage and then eluded a massive manhunt through trees and brush, police said today.
Six people were treated at hospitals for minor cuts and wounds and later released. They were in three separate vehicles.
Police said several people saw a man carrying a rifle in the area. Two men were stopped a short distance from the shootings, but police later released them and said they were not involved in the attacks.
A police spokesman said it appeared the gunman was using a small-caliber rifle.
More than one-fourth of Jacksonville's 90 on-duty police units were pressed into the search for the sniper, but came away empty-handed.
Duval County deputies continued the search today. They said the shots came from a patch of trees and brush about 50 feet from the southbound lane of Interstate 95. No traffic accidents were reported.
The shots began about 5:10 p.m. EDT on the northside of the city, about four miles from downtown, authorities reported.
Karen Rands, 21, of Jacksonville Beach was treated and released from Memorial Medical Center after she was grazed in the nose by a shot. A friend, Sheril Pruett, had just picked Rands up from the airport.
'It exploded and my friend screamed,' Pruett said. 'She had blood on her nose, and I looked over and she was putting her hands on her nose and it was just running down her face.'
Josephine Potporsky, 53, of Transfer, Pa., was hit in the left armpit and right upper thigh with bullet fragments and glass. Her sister, Alice Hanson, 54, of Jacksonville was hit in the right arm with some fragments and glass.
Both women were treated and released from Methodist Hospital.
A 2-year-old boy sitting in a child's safety chair in another vehicle was hit with some glass. He was taken to St. Vincent's Medical Center.
Names were not available of the other two victims, who also suffered minor injuries from being struck with glass.
A dragnet of lawmen with dogs fanned over the wooded area and pasture land surrounding the scene of the shooting in search of the sniper. One man wearing combat fatigues was apprehended nearby but was released after questioning, Capt. J.C. Green said.
Another man found a short distance away was arrested and jailed after authorities discovered he was wanted on a traffic charge, Green said. The man was released on bond later in the evening.
'It's our opinion now neither one had anything to do with the shootings,' Green said.