Patrick Burris, 41, a career criminal who police believe shot five people near Gaffney, S.C., was fatally shot Monday by officers investigating a burglary complaint in Gastonia, N.C.
South Carolina authorities say that Mr. Burris might have been linked to the alleged kidnapping of Patricia Malpass on June 24 from a Harlem grocery store.
Were trying to see if that was related in any way, said Greenwood County sheriffs Maj. John Murray. As far as we can determine, its not related at all, but the guy was bouncing back and forth across the state line, so were looking into that.
At this stage in the investigation, Maj. Murray said hes not prepared to rule out anything.
Were still looking at all possibilities, he said.
Police said Mr. Burris, a career criminal paroled just two months ago, started his killing spree June 27.
Ballistics tests showed his gun matched the same weapon used to kill Gaffney area residents.
No motive has yet been identified for the murders.
Mrs. Malpass, 62, allegedly was abducted from an IGA on Milledgeville Road and later found near Greenwood, which is about 90 miles from Gaffney. She was found by a South Carolina police officer in a wooded area off Highway 25 near her vehicle.
According to Mrs. Malpass, a man was hiding inside her SUV as she left the store and pulled a gun on her when she entered the vehicle. He then forced her to drive him to Greenwood.
Once they reached his destination, Mrs. Malpass said she was stripped and severely beaten.
In the days prior to the kidnapping, Mrs. Malpass complained to police that her home was burglarized and that someone had put a snake in her vehicle.