Serial shooter may be loose

Monday, June 8, 2015 2:55 PM

LOVELAND – The Wednesday killing of a man on a sidewalk in this northern Colorado city has raised alarm that a serial shooter might be trolling the area’s roads after a bicyclist recently was gunned down and a driver was wounded nearby.

Police and the FBI have refused to comment on whether a serial shooter is on the loose. But they offered a $10,000 reward for information in the first two unsolved shootings, which authorities say are related, though they haven’t said how.

In one, a bicyclist was found dead along a rural road about 15 miles away. In the other, a woman driving along Interstate 25 about 15 miles away was shot in the neck but survived.

Officials say it’s too early to know if the Loveland shooting is connected.

In that case, a 65-year-old man was found lying on a sidewalk along a main street Wednesday night, and responders were unable to save his life. Police have not released his name, but family and neighbors identified him as William Connole, a cancer survivor who often took late-night walks through his quiet neighborhood.

The victims

Cori Romero

Romero, 21, was shot in the neck April 22 while driving on Interstate 25 near Fort Collins, about 60 miles north of Denver. She managed to pull over and call for help.

Romero spent a week in a hospital. “Every day, I deal with something new, whether it’s physical pain, emotional pain,” she told KMGH-TV.

John Jacoby

Investigators say Romero’s shooting is linked to the May 18 killing of John Jacoby, 48, about 5 miles away in Windsor. They have not elaborated but say they don’t believe Romero and Jacoby knew each other.

Jacoby was riding a bicycle on a rural road when he was shot twice. A motorist found his body. As in Romero’s case, police have not said what type of gun was used.

Jacoby was considered the unofficial mayor of the normally quiet town of Windsor, population 19,000. Friends say he was a part-time parks worker and a grocery store bagger who walked or rode his bike everywhere.

William Roger Connole

The latest victim – William Connole, 65 – was shot and killed Wednesday night as he walked near his home in Loveland, about 15 miles from Windsor.

Connole was employed at a Home Depot. Before that, he worked for years with computers.

A granddaughter, Sadie Rogers, 15, said Connole liked to take walks through his quiet neighborhood after working late. He recently beat cancer.

“When he had cancer he’d, like, still come to my softball meetings and take me, and he just did everything for everyone he could,” Rogers said.