FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – The sister of a man shot randomly three years ago while he was walking down the street in Loveland is hopeful the man arrested this week is the one responsible for her brother’s death.
“Let’s hope that this guy that they found is the guy,” said Mary Connole, brother of murder victim William Connole. “The integrity of this investigation has been so tremendous that I still am very hopeful that justice is being done.”
Connole spoke to reporters after the conclusion of a Thursday morning news conference held by the Northern Colorado Shootings Task Force to discuss the arrest of suspect Christopher Parker.
Authorities believe Parker murdered William Connole on June 3, 2015, and also shot at a motorcyclist 15 minutes prior to that crime. They haven’t revealed a possible motive in the case or said whether Parker knew Connole.
“He was just a guy walking down the street. He was my older brother. He was a father, he was a grandfather. He was like your brother,” said Mary Connole, who spoke with CBS4 in 2016 about her brother’s life and the battle with cancer he was in the middle of when he was killed.
Parker was arrested earlier this week in Loveland without incident and is being held without bond.
“Today marks a very important point for us in that working with the public and all these agencies we were able to bring charges against an individual that the evidence brought us to in the murder of Mr. Connole and the other attempted shooting that occurred within the city limits of Loveland,” Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said.
“This arrest is a result of an extensive two year, eight month investigation that pursued over 5,000 leads, cleared 12 persons of interest and followed up on over 14,000 pickup trucks in Larimer and surrounding counties,” said Larimer County Sheriff’s Capt. Bob Coleman, the task force’s commander.
Coleman thanked the public for providing valuable tips during the investigation, and said they are still working hard to solve the four other unsolved random shooting incidents that occurred in 2015.
“We are not finished. At date, there is no evidence to suggest nor is there any information to believe Mr. Parker is responsible for the April 22, 2015, shooting of Miss Cory Romero or the May 18, 2015, shooting and the murder of Mr. John Jacoby, the Sept. 13, 2015, shooting of an unoccupied school in North Loveland or the shooting of the second floor window at on-duty employees that occurred at Banner Health Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on that same evening,” he said.
Windsor Police Chief Rick Klimek said he hopes the public will once again think back to that time period and provide the task force with any tips or bits of information that might help their investigation.
“The Jacoby family is wanting answers. They deserve answers, and Johnny deserves closure for what happened to him,” Klimek said.
Mary Connole said she wants people to “keep everyone who has been touched by all of this in your prayers.”
“Let’s hope and pray that we’ll continue to find more information and bring justice for the Jacobys and the rest of the victims.”
The four other cases from 2015 remain open and unsolved. The task force is asking for the public’s help with them again — making an urgent plea to share tips, even if you previously reported the tip to them but think it’s still relevant.
Other family members Cannole attended the media conference in addition to Mary, and they held each other’s hands in unity.
“The (Northern) Colorado Task Force has been so incredible. And, I have believed they would find this guy,” Mary said.
The following information was released by the Larimer County Sheriff’s office:
If you or someone you know has information about any of these shootings, please contact the Northern Colorado Shooting Task Force at 970-498-5595 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for these crimes.