In light of the fact that Mohammed Whitaker’s father’s name is Edward, it is likely that he is a convert to Islam. And he may be yet another convert to Islam who has somehow misunderstood his new, peaceful religion. Whitaker’s sniper attacks against drivers on the highway recalls the Beltway jihad sniper attacks of John Allen Muhammad in the Washington area. Still, this may not be jihad. It may be that Mohammed Whitaker is a “right-wing extremist,” driven mad by his reading of Whittaker Chambers. If it is a jihad attack, the mainstream media will do its best to cover up and obfuscate that fact, or downplay and ignore it if it is indisputable.
“Grandview man, 27, charged in area highway shootings,” by Christine Vendel for the Kansas City Star, April 18:
Kansas City police used tips about an erratic driver, a fingerprint from a plastic bag of shell casings and a bullet from a house that was shot last year to link Mohammed Whitaker, 27, to a series of recent highway shootings.
Jackson County prosecutors on Friday announced 18 felony charges against Whitaker involving nine separate shootings. Two of the charges relate to cases where victims were wounded. Seven cases involve shootings where victims were not hit.
Whitaker remained in jail Friday in lieu of a $1 million cash-only bond.
Officers had been trailing Whitaker for about a week while they finished testing evidence and gathering new information. They arrested him at his Grandview apartment Thursday night as soon as they thought they had enough evidence to justify it.
Police found a gun inside his apartment, where he apparently lived alone. Whitaker told detectives he didn’t know much about the shootings, then said he was the victim of the “highway shooter.” He declined to take responsibility but wept at times in the interrogation room, police said.
The arrest shocked Whitaker’s father, Edward Whitaker, of Cairo, Illinois.
“I thought everything was okay with him,” he said. “I just thought he was working and trying to pay off his college bills.”
Police had linked 12 of about 20 shootings to the same gun, leaving at least three linked cases without criminal charges, including one case where a victim was wounded. More charges may be added, prosecutors said.
Investigators first noticed the pattern of highway and roadway shootings in early April, when a police analyst identified four Kansas City cases and three cases from other cities that bore similarities. Police eventually identified about 20 shooting cases from March and April that could be related. Police announced last week that they had used evidence to link 12 of those cases.
Most of the shootings occurred in Kansas City, with most in or near the Three Trails Crossing.
Authorities at Friday’s press conference said they knew of no motive, they believe Whitaker acted alone and that he had little criminal record.
Mohammed Whitaker last called his father April 7 to ask for money to get him through until his payday. His father sent him $50.
Mohammed Whitaker graduated from high school in Moberly, Mo., and attended but later dropped out of a technical college. He worked at a medical supply company in Overland Park in sales, his father said.
Whitaker is on administrative leave from his job at OptumRx in Overland Park, the division of UnitedHealth Group that fills prescriptions, a company spokesman said.
Whitaker had moved into his home in Grandview in January after moving out of a home in south Kansas City that he shared with several roommates.
“To my knowledge, he’s never fired a gun,” said his father, who had heard of the shootings in Kansas City, but “never had a dream or clue he could be involved in something like that.”
A high school friend of the suspect recognized Whitaker’s image on television Thursday night and called Whitaker’s brother, who called their dad.
The father, who is divorced from the mother, said he could not reach the mother Friday to see if she had heard the news.
The car towed by police Thursday night bore Illinois license plates registered to Edward Whitaker, who said he recently paid for the plates for a white Buick that he gave to his son. But the Buick had transmission problems, so his son began driving a different car recently. His son apparently moved the plates from the Buick to the Dodge Neon.
The investigation began to point toward Whitaker last week after two witnesses reported erratic, road-rage type behavior by a driver of a green car. One witness provided an Illinois license plate that police tracked to Whitaker’s father….