ROCKVILLE, Md. â€” Authorities arrested and charged a witness on Friday for intentionally misleading investigators by falsely claiming he saw a cream-colored van with a burned-out taillight and an olive-skinned man at the scene of a sniper shooting.
Matthew Dowdy, 37, of Falls Church, Va., was the witness charged with making a false statement, said Isabel Benemelis, spokeswoman for Fairfax County, Va., police.
Police have said his story began to unravel when authorities compared it to accounts from others who saw the fatal shooting Monday night of an FBI analyst in a store parking garage. Eleven people have been shot in the sniper attacks since Oct. 2, and nine have died.
"He couldn't see what he said he saw," said Fairfax County Prosecutor Robert F. Horan Jr.