DC Sniper Apologizes to First Victim

Lee Boyd Malvo writes letter, is 'relieved' man is alive and well
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2010 2:41 PM CST
Lee Boyd Malvo listens to court proceedings during the trial of fellow sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad in Virginia Beach, Va., in a 2003 file photo.   (AP Photo/Martin Smith-Rodden, Pool, file)

(Newser) – Lee Boyd Malvo, the younger of the DC snipers, apologized to his first victim by letter this week. Malvo shot the Louisiana man in 2002 in what police figure was a test of loyalty to the older sniper, John Allen Muhammad. The pair slashed John Gaeta's tires in a mall parking lot, then Malvo shot him point-blank in the neck as he was trying to put on the spare. Though Gaeta wasn't seriously wounded, he played dead while the two grabbed his wallet.

"I am truly sorry for the pain I caused you and your loved ones," wrote Malvo. "I was relieved to hear that you suffered no paralyzing injuries and that you are alive." Police say Malvo is unlikely to be prosecuted for the shooting, but Gaeta, who read the letter to CNN, is glad to gain closure and know that his attacker is behind bars. Malvo, 25, is serving a life sentence, and Muhammad has been executed.

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