Wednesday, June 27, 2001

NEWS - Woman's gunshot death at zoo remains mystery

Woman's gunshot death at zoo remains mystery
The Ventura County Star. CA
Wednesday, June 27, 2001

LANSING Mich. (AP) -- As Bernita White and her daughter walked toward a ticket booth at the city zoo the state trooper's wife was cut down by a rifle bullet fired from more than 100 yards away.

On Tuesday who fired the deadly shot and why remained a mystery.

"It's a tough case" Lansing Police Lt. Ray Hall said.

Witnesses told police that one or two shots came from the woods at Potter Park Zoo but no one saw the shooter.

The lawyer for White 's husband acknowledged his client is under investigation but insisted he was not involved.

White 41 a computer systems analyst filed for divorce a month ago but the couple were still living together in suburban Lansing .

Seven hours after the slaying Saturday police informed Benita White 's mother of the killing. Barbara Sims 67 of Detroit went into cardiac arrest and died.

"She couldn't take it. She couldn't handle it" Sims' husband Bennie Sims told WDIV-TV. "It killed her. It almost killed me."

The bullet which struck White in the heart and exited her side has not been found.

Hall said authorities have ruled out the possibility that the bullet had been fired randomly into the air. Based on its trajectory someone meant to shoot the woman he said.

NEWS - Woman killed by sniper's bullet at zoo

Woman killed by sniper's bullet at zoo
Wednesday, June 27, 2001
CJ Online
The Associated Press
By Dee-Ann Durbin
http://cjonline.com/stories/062701/new_zoosniper.shtml

LANSING, Mich. -- As Bernita White and her daughter walked toward a ticket booth at the city zoo, the state trooper's wife was cut down by a rifle bullet fired from more than 100 yards away.

On Tuesday, who fired the deadly shot and why remained a mystery.

"It's a tough case," Lansing police Lt. Ray Hall said.

Witnesses told police that one or two shots came from the woods at Potter Park Zoo, but no one saw the shooter.

The lawyer for Bernita White's husband acknowledged his client is under investigation but insisted he wasn't involved.

Bernita White, 41, a computer systems analyst, had filed for divorce a month ago, but the couple were still living together in suburban Lansing.

"Mr. White is adamant that he had nothing to do with it," attorney David Clark said. "He needs some time to be alone with his family. He has two children who don't understand the gravity of the situation."

Seven hours after the slaying Saturday, police informed Bernita White's mother of the killing. Barbara Sims, 67, of Detroit, went into cardiac arrest and died.

"She couldn't take it. She couldn't handle it," Sims' husband, Bennie Sims, told WDIV-TV. "It killed her. It almost killed me."

The bullet, which struck Bernita White in the heart and exited her side, hasn't been found.

Hall said authorities have ruled out the possibility that the bullet had been fired randomly into the air. Based on the bullet's trajectory, someone meant to shoot the woman, he said.

Police have questioned 20 people, including Bernita White's husband, Artis White, a detective sergeant with the state police.

He and his wife were in the park with their 5-year-old daughter when the trooper left to pick up their other daughter, 7, who has at another park. He returned about an hour later to find his wife dead, Hall said.

The zoo, closed for the rest of the weekend, was reopened Monday. A normal crowd of about 400 showed up, said executive director Carol Webster. As a precaution, a police officer has been assigned to patrol the zoo.

"It's not good to go through life being afraid," Jeanne Walser said Monday while watching her three boys play in the park. "But I've probably been a little more cautious. I'm looking around more than I would've before."

NEWS - Lawyer: Husband not shooter - Police question many who knew victim of Lansing zoo killing

Lawyer: Husband not shooter
Police question many who knew victim of Lansing zoo killing
Lansing State Journal
Lansing, Mich.
June 27, 2001

State police Detective Sgt. Artis White didn't shoot and kill his wife, Bernita, at Potter Park, White's attorney said Tuesday.

David Clark said Lansing police interviewed the trooper for six hours after Saturday's slaying at the south Lansing park and zoo.

But Clark says Bernita's husband of 11 years is no more a suspect than the other people detectives are questioning in a case that drew national headlines.

"My understanding is there are a lot of suspects,'' he said.

Detectives have interviewed more than 20 people who knew Bernita White, Lt. Raymond Hall said.

Lansing Police Chief Mark Alley wouldn't say Tuesday whether anyone is considered a prime suspect.

Police say everyone who knew the Delta Township woman is a suspect.

Hall said detectives are disappointed in a letter from Clark asking them to refrain from interviewing White for 14 days.

The break will let White "grieve, bury his wife and try to explain this tragedy to his children,'' Clark said.

Hall said investigators respect that.

"But it's disappointing he's chosen to delay talking to investigators,'' he said. "We have one objective: to solve this crime. We're going to need Mr. White's assistance."

Bernita White, 41, was Lansing's second homicide victim of the year and the second in a three-day period. She will be buried Friday.

No one reported seeing who fired the gun.

Hall said a videotape by a park patron Saturday has been very helpful to investigators. He wouldn't say what was on the tape.

White was shot once just after 3:30 p.m. while walking next to the couple's 5-year-old daughter toward the zoo's entrance.

Artis White told investigators he'd dropped off his wife and 5- year-old daughter at Potter Park Saturday, Clark said. He left to pick up their 7-year-old daughter at a birthday party in a Delta Township park.
He arrived at Potter Park at 4:30 p.m., expecting to pick up his wife and daughter. Instead, police told him she was dead.

White's death was likely not an accident. And whoever shot her is "more than likely proficient with a rifle,'' Hall said.

"You've got a moving target, and the person or persons were about 100 yards away,'' he said.

Investigators haven't found the bullet - probably fired from about 100 yards away. The bullet hit Bernita White in the left arm, pierced her heart and exited her right side.

The park and zoo reopened Monday after it was closed for two days while police searched for the slug.

Investigators haven't focused on a motive.

Police are saying little about their investigation, but they're looking at Bernita White's relationships.

She filed for divorce on May 24, according to Eaton County Circuit Court records.

Bernita sought full custody of their two children pending the outcome of the divorce. Artis wanted joint custody, according to court records. Circuit Judge Thomas Eveland ruled on June 15 that the Whites would have joint custody.

The divorce and custody battle doesn't implicate his client, Clark said.

"They were living in the same house, there was never a personal protection order, there were no allegations of physical abuse,'' Clark said.

Artis White is a detective in the private security and investigation unit, state police spokesman David Verhoegstrate said. He's been with the state police since August 1998.

Verhoegstrate wouldn't comment on the Lansing police investigation.

About 10 p.m. Saturday, state police troopers in Detroit told White's mother, 67-year- old Barbara Sims, that her daughter was shot and killed. The Detroit woman died of a heart attack after hearing the news.'

Visitation for Bernita White is from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Riley Funeral Home, 426 W. St. Joseph St. Funeral services are 1 p.m. Friday at Union Missionary Baptist Church, 1020 W. Hillsdale St.

NEWS - Woman killed by sniper's bullet at zoo

Woman killed by sniper's bullet at zoo
The Salina Journal
Salina, Kansas
Wednesday, June 27, 2001




NEWS - Sniper bullet kills woman at Mich. zoo

Sniper bullet kills woman at Mich. zoo
The Chronicle Telegram
Wednesday, June 27, 2001



NEWS - State trooper's wife shot at zoo

State trooper's wife shot at zoo
Aiken Standard
Associated Press
Wednesday, June 27, 2001



NEWS - Woman killed by sniper at zoo

Woman killed by sniper at zoo
The Daily News
Galveston, TX
Wednesday, June 27, 2001



NEWS - Police continue to investigate shooting at zoo

Police continue to investigate shooting at zoo
The Daily Globe
Ironwood, Michigan
Wednesday, June 27, 2001



NEWS - Investigators remain mystified as to who, why of zoo murder

Investigators remain mystified as to who, why of zoo murder
The Altoona Mirror
Altoona, PA
Wednesday, June 27, 2001



NEWS - Mom killed by sniper's bullet at Michigan zoo

Mom killed by sniper's bullet at Michigan zoo
The Daily News
Northwest Florida
Wednesday, June 27, 2001



NEWS - Woman slain at crowded zoo

Woman slain at crowded zoo
The Facts
Brazoria County, Texas
June 27, 2001



NEWS - Woman's death at zoo still a mystery

Woman's death at zoo still a mystery
The Albany Herald
June 27, 2001



NEWS - Police search for person who killed mother at zoo - Husband investigated, but his lawyer insists he was not involved

Police search for person who killed mother at zoo
Husband investigated, but his lawyer insists he was not involved
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
June 27, 2001



NEWS - Woman killed by sniper's bullet at zoo - Her mother died in reaction to news

Woman killed by sniper's bullet at zoo - Her mother died in reaction to news
The Belleville News-Democrat
Belleville, IL
Wednesday, June 27, 2001

LANSING, Mich. --- As Bernita White and her daughter walked toward a ticket booth at the city zoo , the state trooper's wife was cut down by a rifle bullet fired from more than 100 yards away.

On Tuesday, who fired the deadly shot and why remained a mystery.

"It's a tough case," Lansing Police Lt. Ray Hall said.

Witnesses told police that one or two shots came from the woods at Potter Park Zoo , but no one saw the shooter.

The lawyer for White 's husband acknowledged his client is under investigation but insisted he was not involved.

White , 41, a computer systems analyst, had filed for divorce a month ago, but the couple were still living together in suburban Lansing .

"Mr. White is adamant that he had nothing to do with it," attorney David Clark said. "He needs some time to be alone with his family. He has two children who don't understand the gravity of the situation."
Seven hours after the slaying Saturday, police informed White 's mother of the killing. Barbara Sims, 67, of Detroit, went into cardiac arrest and died.

"She couldn't take it. She couldn't handle it," Sims' husband, Bennie Sims, told WDIV-TV. "It killed her. It almost killed me."

The bullet, which struck White in the heart and exited her side, has not been found.

Hall said authorities have ruled out the possibility that the bullet had been fired randomly into the air. Based on the bullet's trajectory, someone meant to shoot the woman, he said.

Police have questioned 20 people, including White 's husband, Artis White , a detective sergeant with the state police.

He and his wife were in the park with their 5-year-old daughter when the trooper left to pick up their other daughter, 7, who was at another park . He returned about an hour later to find his wife dead, Hall said.

The zoo , closed for the rest of the weekend, was reopened on Monday. A normal crowd of about 400 showed up, said executive director Carol Webster. As a precaution, a police officer has been assigned to patrol the zoo .

"It's not good to go through life being afraid," Jeanne Walser said Monday while watching her three boys play in the park . "But I've probably been a little more cautious. I'm looking around more than I would've before."

NEWS - Trooper's wife killed; mother hears news, dies

Trooper's wife killed; mother hears news, dies
Herald-Sun, The
Durham, NC
Wednesday, June 27, 2001

LANSING, Mich. - As Bernita White and her daughter walked toward a ticket booth at the city zoo , the state trooper's wife was cut down by a rifle bullet fired from more than 100 yards away.

On Tuesday, the identity of the person who fired the deadly shot and why remained a mystery.

Witnesses told police that one or two shots came from the woods at Potter Park Zoo , but no one saw the shooter. The lawyer for White 's husband acknowledged his client is under investigation but insisted he was not involved.

White , 41, a computer systems analyst, had filed for divorce a month ago, but the couple were still living together in suburban Lansing .

Seven hours after the slaying Saturday, police informed White 's mother of the killing.

Barbara Sims, 67, of Detroit, went into cardiac arrest and died.

NEWS - Woman slain at zoo; mom dies when told

Woman slain at zoo; mom dies when told
Houston Chronicle
Wednesday, June 27, 2001

LANSING , Mich.- A state trooper's wife visiting a crowded zoo with her daughter was killed by a rifle shot fired from a nearby wooded area. Her mother died of a heart attack when she was told of the shooting.

The trooper's lawyer acknowledged his client is under investigation in the shooting but said he wasn't involved.

Bernita White , 41, was shot once Saturday while walking with her daughter and friends at the Potter Park Zoo. Hundreds of people were in the park , and witnesses reported hearing one or two shots although none reported seeing the shooter, police said.

White's mother, Barbara Sims, 67, died of a heart attack when she was told of her daughter's death, police said.

White 's husband, Artis, a state police detective sergeant, had dropped off his wife and daughter at the park and arrived half an hour after the shooting expecting to pick them up, police said.

White had filed for divorce from her husband last month, although the couple still lived together, said his attorney, David Clark.

"They tell us they're looking at all kinds of leads, but we know they're looking at him," Clark said. "But let me set it straight. He absolutely didn't do it."

Artis White has been cooperating with investigators, Lansing police Lt. Raymond Hall said.

"We're confident the shooter was a long distance away," he said. "Based on the trajectory of the bullet, we can rule out that the shot was fired in the air and randomly struck someone walking in the park ."

NEWS - Woman killed by sniper’s bullet at zoo

Woman killed by sniper’s bullet at zoo
The Repository
Canton, OH
Wednesday, June 27, 2001

LANSING, Mich. — As Bernita White and her daughter walked toward a ticket booth at the city zoo , the state trooper’s wife was cut down by a rifle bullet fired from more than 100 yards away.

On Tuesday, who fired the deadly shot and why remained a mystery.

"It’s a tough case," Lansing police Lt. Ray Hall said.

Witnesses told police that one or two shots came from the woods at Potter Park Zoo, but no one saw the shooter.

The lawyer for Ms. White’s husband acknowledged his client is under investigation but insisted he was not involved.

Ms. White , 41, a computer systems analyst, had filed for divorce a month ago, but the couple were still living together in suburban Lansing .

"Mr. White is adamant that he had nothing to do with it," attorney David Clark said.

Seven hours after the slaying Saturday, police informed Ms. White’s mother of the killing. Barbara Sims, 67, of Detroit, went into cardiac arrest and died.

The bullet, which struck Ms. White in the heart and exited her side, has not been found.

Hall said authorities have ruled out the possibility that the bullet had been fired randomly into the air. Based on the bullet’s trajectory, someone meant to shoot the woman, he said.

Police have questioned 20 people, including Ms. White’s husband, Artis White , a detective sergeant with the state police.

He and his wife were in the park with their 5-year-old daughter when the trooper left to pick up their other daughter, 7, who was at another park . He returned about an hour later to find his wife dead, Hall said.

NEWS - Woman killed by sniper's bullet at zoo

Woman killed by sniper's bullet at zoo
Telegraph Herald
Dubuque, IA
Wednesday, June 27, 2001

LANSING , Mich. (AP) - As Bernita White and her daughter walked toward a ticket booth at the city zoo , the state trooper's wife was cut down by a rifle bullet fired from more than 100 yards away.

On Tuesday, who fired the deadly shot and why remained a mystery.

"It's a tough case," Lansing police Lt. Ray Hall said.

Witnesses told police that one or two shots came from the woods at Potter Park Zoo, but no one saw the shooter.

The lawyer for White 's husband acknowledged his client is under investigation but insisted he was not involved.

Bernita White , 41, a computer systems analyst, had filed for divorce a month ago, but the couple were still living together in suburban Lansing .

"Mr. White is adamant that he had nothing to do with it," attorney David Clark said. "He needs some time to be alone with his family. He has two children who don't understand the gravity of the situation."
Seven hours after the slaying Saturday, police informed Bernita White 's mother of the killing. Barbara Sims, 67, of Detroit, went into cardiac arrest and died.

"She couldn't take it. She couldn't handle it," Sims' husband, Bennie Sims, told WDIV-TV. "It killed her. It almost killed me."

The bullet, which struck White in the heart and exited her side, has not been found.

Hall said authorities have ruled out the possibility that the bullet had been fired randomly into the air. Based on the bullet's trajectory, someone meant to shoot the woman, he said.

Police have questioned 20 people, including White 's husband, Artis White , a detective sergeant with the state police.

He and his wife were in the park with their 5-year-old daughter when the trooper left to pick up their other daughter, 7, who was at another park . He returned about an hour later to find his wife dead, Hall said.

The zoo , closed for the rest of the weekend, was reopened on Monday. A normal crowd of about 400 showed up, said executive director Carol Webster. As a precaution, a police officer has been assigned to patrol the zoo .

"It's not good to go through life being afraid," Jeanne Walser said Monday while watching her three boys play in the park . "But I've probably been a little more cautious. I'm looking around more than I would've before."

NEWS - Police have few leads into investigation of murder at Lansing, Mich. zoo

Police have few leads into investigation of murder at Lansing, Mich. zoo
Morning Sun, The
Pittsburg, KS
Wednesday, June 27, 2001

LANSING , Mich. (AP) -- As Bernita White and her daughter walked toward a ticket booth at the city zoo , the state trooper's wife was cut down by a rifle bullet fired from more than 100 yards away.

On Tuesday, who fired the deadly shot and why remained a mystery.

"It's a tough case," Lansing police Lt. Ray Hall said.

Witnesses told police that one or two shots came from the woods at Potter Park Zoo, but no one saw the shooter.

The lawyer for Ms. White 's husband acknowledged his client is under investigation but insisted he was not involved.

Ms. White , 41, a computer systems analyst, had filed for divorce a month ago, but the couple were still living together in suburban Lansing .

"Mr. White is adamant that he had nothing to do with it," attorney David Clark said. "He needs some time to be alone with his family. He has two children who don't understand the gravity of the situation."
Seven hours after the slaying Saturday, police informed Ms. White 's mother of the killing. Barbara Sims, 67, of Detroit, went into cardiac arrest and died.

"She couldn't take it. She couldn't handle it," Sims' husband, Bennie Sims, told WDIV-TV. "It killed her. It almost killed me."

The bullet, which struck Ms. White in the heart and exited her side, has not been found.

Hall said authorities have ruled out the possibility that the bullet had been fired randomly into the air. Based on the bullet's trajectory, someone meant to shoot the woman, he said.

Police have questioned 20 people, including Ms. White 's husband, Artis White , a detective sergeant with the state police.

He and his wife were in the park with their 5-year-old daughter when the trooper left to pick up their other daughter, 7, who has at another park . He returned about an hour later to find his wife dead, Hall said.

The zoo , closed for the rest of the weekend, was reopened on Monday. A normal crowd of about 400 showed up, said executive director Carol Webster. As a precaution, a police officer has been assigned to patrol the zoo .

"It's not good to go through life being afraid," Jeanne Walser said Monday while watching her three boys play in the park . "But I've probably been a little more cautious. I'm looking around more than I would've before."

NEWS - Woman killed by sniper's bullet at Michigan zoo

Woman killed by sniper's bullet at Michigan zoo
The Gaston Gazette
Wednesday, June 27, 2001



Tuesday, June 26, 2001

NEWS - Woman Shot at Crowded Michigan Zoo

Woman Shot at Crowded Michigan Zoo
Tuesday, June 26, 2001
Crosswalk
http://www.crosswalk.com/503680/

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A state trooper's wife visiting a crowded zoo with her daughter was killed by a rifle shot fired from a nearby wooded area. Her mother died of a heart attack when she was told of the shooting.

The trooper's lawyer acknowledged his client is under investigation in the shooting but said he wasn't involved.

Bernita White, 41, was shot once in the heart Saturday while walking with her daughter and friends at the Potter Park Zoo. There were hundreds of people in the park, and witnesses reported hearing one or two shots although no one reported seeing the shooter, police said.

White's mother, Barbara Sims, 67, died of a heart attack when she was told of her daughter's death, police said.

White's husband, Artis, a state police detective sergeant, had dropped off his wife and daughter at the park and arrived half an hour after the shooting expecting to pick them up, police said.

White had filed for divorce from her husband last month, although the couple still lived together, said his attorney, David Clark.

``They tell us they're looking at all kinds of leads, but we know they're looking at him,'' Clark said. ``But let me set it straight. He absolutely didn't do it.''

Artis White has been cooperating with investigators, Lansing police Lt. Raymond Hall said.

``We're considering anyone who knew our victim to be a suspect,'' he said. ``We've eliminated no one.''

Investigators have determined that the fatal shot came from a rifle in a wooded area north of the zoo's ticket booth, Hall said Monday.

``We're confident the shooter was a long distance away,'' Hall said. ``Based on the trajectory of the bullet, we can rule out that the shot was fired in the air and randomly struck someone walking in the park.

``She was either chosen randomly or there's a person or persons with a motive and intended for her to be their target.''

The bullet hadn't been found, he said.

NEWS - Mother dies when told of daughter's shooting at Michigan zoo

Mother dies when told of daughter's shooting at Michigan zoo
By Associated Press
06/26/01
Boston.com
http://www.boston.com/news/daily/26/zoo_death.html


LANSING, Mich. -- A state trooper's wife visiting a crowded zoo with her daughter was killed by a rifle shot fired from a nearby wooded area. Her mother died of a heart attack when she was told of the shooting.

The trooper's lawyer acknowledged his client is under investigation in the shooting but said he wasn't involved.

Bernita White, 41, was shot once in the heart Saturday while walking with her daughter and friends at the Potter Park Zoo. There were hundreds of people in the park, and witnesses reported hearing one or two shots although no one reported seeing the shooter, police said.

White's mother, Barbara Sims, 67, died of a heart attack when she was told of her daughter's death, police said.

White's husband, Artis, a state police detective sergeant, had dropped off his wife and daughter at the park and arrived half an hour after the shooting expecting to pick them up, police said.

White had filed for divorce from her husband last month, although the couple still lived together, said his attorney, David Clark.

"They tell us they're looking at all kinds of leads, but we know they're looking at him," Clark said. "But let me set it straight. He absolutely didn't do it."

Artis White has been cooperating with investigators, Lansing police Lt. Raymond Hall said.

"We're considering anyone who knew our victim to be a suspect," he said. "We've eliminated no one."

Investigators have determined that the fatal shot came from a rifle in a wooded area north of the zoo's ticket booth, Hall said Monday.

"We're confident the shooter was a long distance away," Hall said. "Based on the trajectory of the bullet, we can rule out that the shot was fired in the air and randomly struck someone walking in the park.

"She was either chosen randomly or there's a person or persons with a motive and intended for her to be their target."

The bullet hadn't been found, he said.

NEWS - Shooting victim’s husband had ties to Shiawassee area

Shooting victim’s husband had ties to Shiawassee area
The Argus-Press
Owosso, Michigan
Tuesday, June 26, 2001






NEWS - Police: Zoo shooting likely intentional. Trajectory of bullet indicates fatal shot intended for victim

Police: Zoo shooting likely intentional
Trajectory of bullet indicates fatal shot intended for victim
Lansing State Journal
Lansing, Mich.
By Adam Emerso
June 26, 2001

The shot that killed Bernita White at Potter Park likely wasn't fired accidentally, Lansing police said Monday.

Investigators determined that the shot Saturday came from a rifle near the park's border, a wooded area north of the zoo's ticket booth, police Lt. Raymond Hall said.

But police couldn't find the bullet that went through the 41- year-old Delta Township woman.

"We're confident the shooter was a long distance away,'' Hall said. "Based on the trajectory of the bullet, we can rule out that the shot was fired in the air and randomly struck someone walking in the park."

The bullet entered White's arm, struck her heart and came out her right side, Ingham County Interim Medical Examiner Dennis Jurczak said.

Hall said White likely was an intended target. "She was either chosen randomly or there's a person or persons with a motive and intended for her to be their target."

White's death was Lansing's second homicide in three days - its first two of this year.

A police officer has been assigned to patrol the zoo as a precaution. That will continue indefinitely, Hall said.

Although the bullet wasn't found, the 100-acre park and zoo reopened Monday. They were closed Sunday while investigators searched for the slug.

"We're not optimistic we're going to find the bullet,'' which could have gone into the river, Hall said.

White was shot once just after 3:30 p.m. while walking next to her 5-year-old daughter from a picnic and play area toward the zoo's entrance.

White also has a 7-year-old daughter who was not with her at the park. White's husband, Artis, is a state police trooper. He had dropped off his wife and daughter earlier in the day, police said, and arrived half an hour after the shooting expecting to pick them up.

About 10 p.m. Saturday, state police troopers in Detroit told White's mother that her daughter had been shot and killed.

The Detroit-area woman died of a heart attack upon hearing the news, state police Capt. Jack Shepherd said. Shepherd didn't know the woman's name.

Although the park and zoo bustled with about 400 people, many said they felt uneasy.

"It's not good to go through life being afraid,'' said Jeanne Walser of Holt. She was watching her boys - Jacob, 11, Justin, 7, and Jack, 4 - play with other children on swings and slides. "It doesn't set a good example.

"But I've probably been a little more cautious. I'm looking around more than I would've before.''' Although Wendy Abner of Holt had reservations about bringing her 6-year-old daughter, Regan, and son, Grayson, 3, to an educational camp at the zoo on Monday, she never doubted she'd come.

"You have to have faith in the police,'' Abner said. "I'm not going to bury my face in the sand."

Despite dozens of phone calls from people saying they heard shots at Potter Park on Saturday, police said progress in the White investigation has been slow.

"But I'm definitely not giving up,'' said Sgt. Darin Larner, Lansing police's lead detective on White's homicide.

Funeral services for White are pending at the Riley Funeral Home, 426 W. St. Joseph St.

Police have no suspects in the Thursday shooting death of Lansing's Delayno Hudson, 39. He was shot and killed at his cellular phone store.

But police Capt. Steve Luciano said Monday that Hudson may have been killed by someone who knew him. Police don't know what, if anything, was taken from Hudson's store. They found his abandoned SUV - which they believe his killer stole - Sunday in Lansing.

NEWS - Woman killed by sniper's bullet at Michigan zoo; investigators say who fired the shot is a mystery

Woman killed by sniper's bullet at Michigan zoo; investigators say who fired the shot is a mystery
Associated Press Archive
Tuesday, June 26, 2001
DEE-ANN DURBIN
Associated Press Writer

As Bernita White and her daughter walked toward a ticket booth at the city zoo , the state trooper's wife was cut down by a rifle bullet fired from more than 100 yards away.

On Tuesday, who fired the deadly shot and why remained a mystery.

"It's a tough case," Lansing police Lt. Ray Hall said.

Witnesses told police that one or two shots came from the woods at Potter Park Zoo , but no one saw the shooter.
The lawyer for Ms. White 's husband acknowledged his client is under investigation but insisted he was not involved.

Ms. White , 41, a computer systems analyst, had filed for divorce a month ago, but the couple were still living together in suburban Lansing .

"Mr. White is adamant that he had nothing to do with it," attorney David Clark said. "He needs some time to be alone with his family. He has two children who don't understand the gravity of the situation."
Seven hours after the slaying Saturday, police informed Ms. White 's mother of the killing. Barbara Sims, 67, of Detroit, went into cardiac arrest and died.

"She couldn't take it. She couldn't handle it," Sims' husband, Bennie Sims, told WDIV-TV. "It killed her. It almost killed me."

The bullet, which struck Ms. White in the heart and exited her side, has not been found.

Hall said authorities have ruled out the possibility that the bullet had been fired randomly into the air. Based on the bullet's trajectory, someone meant to shoot the woman, he said.

Police have questioned 20 people, including Ms. White 's husband, Artis White , a detective sergeant with the state police.

He and his wife were in the park with their 5-year-old daughter when the trooper left to pick up their other daughter, 7, who has at another park . He returned about an hour later to find his wife dead, Hall said.

The zoo , closed for the rest of the weekend, was reopened on Monday. A normal crowd of about 400 showed up, said executive director Carol Webster. As a precaution, a police officer has been assigned to patrol the zoo .

"It's not good to go through life being afraid," Jeanne Walser said Monday while watching her three boys play in the park . "But I've probably been a little more cautious. I'm looking around more than I would've before."

NEWS - Woman slain at zoo; mother dies when informed of slaying

Woman slain at zoo; mother dies when informed of slaying
The Paris News
Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma
Associated Press
Tuesday, June 26, 2001




NEWS - Woman killed at zoo

Woman killed at zoo
The Fredrick Post
Fredrick, Maryland
Tuesday, June 26, 2001




NEWS - Woman killed at zoo; mother dies upon hearing news

Woman killed at zoo; mother dies upon hearing news
Charleston Daily Mail. WV
Tuesday, June 26, 2001

LANSING , Mich. - A state trooper's wife visiting a crowded zoo with her daughter was killed by a rifle shot fired from a nearby wooded area. Her mother died of a heart attack when she was told of the shooting.

The trooper's lawyer acknowledged his client is under investigation in the shooting but said he wasn't involved.

Bernita White , 41, was shot once in the heart Saturday while walking with her daughter and friends at the Potter Park Zoo . There were hundreds of people in the park , and witnesses reported hearing one or two shots although no one reported seeing the shooter, police said.

White 's mother, Barbara Sims, 67, died of a heart attack when she was told of her daughter's death, police said.

White 's husband, Artis, a state police sergeant, had dropped off his wife and daughter at the park and arrived half an hour after the shooting expecting to pick them up, police said.

White had filed for divorce from her husband last month, although the couple still lived together, said his attorney, David Clark. "They tell us they're looking at all kinds of leads, but we know they're looking at him," Clark said. "But let me set it straight. He absolutely didn't do it."

Artis White has been cooperating with investigators, Lansing police Lt. Raymond Hall said.

"We're considering anyone who knew our victim to be a suspect," he said.

Investigators have determined that the fatal shot came from a rifle in a nearby wooded area, Hall said Monday.

"We're confident the shooter was a long distance away," Hall said. "Based on the trajectory of the bullet, we can rule out that the shot was fired in the air and randomly struck someone walking in the park .

"She was either chosen randomly or there's a person or persons with a motive and intended for her to be their target."

NEWS - Fatal shooting at zoo no accident, Lansing police say - The victim had filed for divorce from her husband, a state trooper, last month.

Fatal shooting at zoo no accident, Lansing police say -
The victim had filed for divorce from her husband, a state trooper, last month.
The Grand Rapids Press. Michigan
Tuesday, June 26, 2001

LANSING -- The shot that killed the wife of a state trooper at the Potter Park Zoo over the weekend was not fired accidentally, Lansing police said.

Investigators have determined that the shot fired Saturday came from a rifle in a wooded area north of the zoo 's ticket booth, police Lt. Raymond Hall said Monday.

But police couldn't find the bullet that went through Bernita White , 41, of Eaton County's Delta Township.

"We're confident the shooter was a long distance away," Hall said. "Based on the trajectory of the bullet, we can rule out that the shot was fired in the air and randomly struck someone walking in the park .

"She was either chosen randomly or there's a person or persons with a motive and intended for her to be their target."

The bullet entered White 's arm, struck her heart and came out her right side, Ingham County interim medical examiner Dennis Jurczak said.

White was shot once just after 3:30 p.m. Saturday while walking with her daughter and friends from a picnic area toward the zoo 's ticket booth.

Witnesses reported hearing one or two shots, possibly from a wooded area north of the zoo entrance. No one reported seeing the shooter.

The zoo remained closed through the weekend as police searched for the bullet and other evidence. It reopened at 9 a.m. Monday.

A police officer has been assigned to patrol the zoo as a precaution. That will continue indefinitely, Hall said.

White 's husband, Artis White , is a state police detective sergeant. He had dropped off his wife and daughter earlier in the day and arrived half an hour after the shooting expecting to pick them up, police said.

About 10 p.m. Saturday, state police troopers in Detroit told White 's mother, Barbara Sims, 67, that her daughter had been shot and killed .

The Detroit-area woman died of a heart attack upon hearing the news, state police Capt. Jack Shepherd said. Artis White 's attorney, David Clark of Okemos, said Monday that Bernita White had filed for divorce last month, but the couple still lived together. They had two daughters.

Clark said he knows police are investigating his client.

"They tell us they're looking at all kinds of leads, but we know they're looking at him," he said. "But let me set it straight. He absolutely didn't do it."

Hall said Artis White has been cooperating with investigators.

NEWS - Woman slain at crowded Michigan zoo; mother dies when informed of slaying

Woman slain at crowded Michigan zoo; mother dies when informed of slaying
Jefferson City News-Tribune. MO
Tuesday, June 26, 2001

LANSING , Mich. (AP) -- A state trooper's wife visiting a crowded zoo with her daughter was killed by a rifle shot fired from a nearby wooded area. Her mother died of a heart attack when she was told of the shooting.

The trooper's lawyer acknowledged his client is under investigation in the shooting but said he wasn't involved.

Bernita White , 41, was shot once in the heart Saturday while walking with her daughter and friends at the Potter Park Zoo . 


There were hundreds of people in the park , and witnesses reported hearing one or two shots although no one reported seeing the shooter, police said.

White 's mother, Barbara Sims, 67, died of a heart attack when she was told of her daughter's death, police said.

White 's husband, Artis, a state police detective sergeant, had dropped off his wife and daughter at the park and arrived half an hour after the shooting expecting to pick them up, police said.

White had filed for divorce from her husband last month, although the couple still lived together, said his attorney, David Clark.

"They tell us they're looking at all kinds of leads, but we know they're looking at him," Clark said. "But let me set it straight. He absolutely didn't do it."

Artis White has been cooperating with investigators, Lansing police Lt. Raymond Hall said.

"We're considering anyone who knew our victim to be a suspect," he said. "We've eliminated no one."

Investigators have determined that the fatal shot came from a rifle in a wooded area north of the zoo 's ticket booth, Hall said Monday.

"We're confident the shooter was a long distance away," Hall said. "Based on the trajectory of the bullet, we can rule out that the shot was fired in the air and randomly struck someone walking in the park .

"She was either chosen randomly or there's a person or persons with a motive and intended for her to be their target."

The bullet hadn't been found, he said.

NEWS - Rifle Shot Kills Woman At Zoo; News Kills Mom

Rifle Shot Kills Woman At Zoo; News Kills Mom
Watertown Daily Times (NY)
Tuesday, June 26, 2001

LANSING , Mich. - A state trooper's wife visiting a crowded zoo with her daughter was killed by a rifle shot fired from a nearby wooded area. Her mother died of a heart attack when she was told of the shooting.

The trooper's lawyer acknowledged his client is under investigation in the shooting but said he wasn't involved.

Bernita White , 41, was shot once in the heart Saturday while walking with her daughter and friends at the Potter Park Zoo.

White 's mother, Barbara Sims, 67, died of a heart attack when she was told of her daughter's death, police said.

White 's husband, Artis, a state police detective sergeant, had dropped off his wife and daughter at the park and arrived half an hour after the shooting to pick them up.

White had filed for divorce from her husband last month, but they still lived together.

NEWS - Woman Shot at Crowded Michigan Zoo

Woman Shot at Crowded Michigan Zoo
The Associated Press News Service
Tuesday, June 26, 2001

LANSING , Mich. (AP) - As Bernita White and her daughter walked toward a ticket booth at the city zoo , the state trooper's wife was cut down by a rifle bullet fired from more than 100 yards away.

On Tuesday, who fired the deadly shot and why remained a mystery.

''It's a tough case,'' Lansing police Lt. Ray Hall said.

Witnesses told police that one or two shots came from the woods at Potter Park Zoo, but no one saw the shooter.

The lawyer for Ms. White 's husband acknowledged his client is under investigation but insisted he was not involved.

Ms. White , 41, a computer systems analyst, had filed for divorce a month ago, but the couple were still living together in suburban Lansing .

''Mr. White is adamant that he had nothing to do with it,'' attorney David Clark said. ''He needs some time to be alone with his family. He has two children who don't understand the gravity of the situation.''
Seven hours after the slaying Saturday, police informed Ms. White 's mother of the killing. Barbara Sims, 67, of Detroit, went into cardiac arrest and died.

''She couldn't take it. She couldn't handle it,'' Sims' husband, Bennie Sims, told WDIV-TV. ''It killed her. It almost killed me.''

The bullet, which struck Ms. White in the heart and exited her side, has not been found.

Hall said authorities have ruled out the possibility that the bullet had been fired randomly into the air. Based on the bullet's trajectory, someone meant to shoot the woman, he said.

Police have questioned 20 people, including Ms. White 's husband, Artis White , a detective sergeant with the state police.

He and his wife were in the park with their 5-year-old daughter when the trooper left to pick up their other daughter, 7, who has at another park . He returned about an hour later to find his wife dead, Hall said.

The zoo , closed for the rest of the weekend, was reopened on Monday. A normal crowd of about 400 showed up, said executive director Carol Webster. As a precaution, a police officer has been assigned to patrol the zoo .

''It's not good to go through life being afraid,'' Jeanne Walser said Monday while watching her three boys play in the park . ''But I've probably been a little more cautious. I'm looking around more than I would've before.''

Monday, June 25, 2001

NEWS - Police search for zoo shooter

Police search for zoo shooter
Muskegon Chronicle, The (MI)
Monday, June 25, 2001
Author: Associated Press

The city-owned Potter Park Zoo remained closed through the weekend while police investigated a shooting that killed a 41-year-old woman.

Lansing police Lt. Raymond Hall said police have no one in custody, and don’t know where the shot that struck Bernita White came from as she walked with her daughter on Saturday.

Police have interviewed at least a dozen of White’s acquaintances, and her husband, who is a state police Trooper. But investigators haven’t been able to focus on any leads, Hall said.

"We’re considering anyone who knew our victim to be a suspect," he said. "We’ve eliminated no one."

Along with her husband, White is survived by two daughters.

Officials had hoped to reopen the park and zoo Sunday. But state police crime investigators needed an extra day to search for any evidence that could help pinpoint where a gunman may have stood.

The park and zoo opened at 9 a.m. today.

White was shot once just after 3:30 p.m. Saturday while walking with her daughter and friends from a picnic area toward the zoo’s ticket booth.

At least 300 people were enjoying a sunny afternoon in the park and the zoo at the time of the shooting.

"Before this, open alcohol was a big deal in Potter Park — loud music was a common call," Hall told the Lansing State Journal for a story today. "This is just as shocking to law enforcement as it is to the public. We just don’t see this type of violence."

At least 20 officers, six detectives and every available dog-tracking team combed the area soon after the shooting.

Witnesses reported hearing one or two shots, possibly from a wooded area north of the zoo entrance. No one reported seeing who fired the shot.


Memo: Muskegon edition

NEWS - Zoo shooting still unsolved

Zoo shooting still unsolved
Grand Rapids Press, The (MI)
Monday, June 25, 2001
Author: The Associated Press

LANSING -- The city zoo remained closed through the weekend while police investigated a shooting that killed a 41-year-old woman.

Lansing Police Lt. Raymond Hall said police have no one in custody, and don't know where the shot that struck Bernita White came from as she walked with her daughter Saturday.

Police have interviewed at least a dozen of White 's acquaintances, and her husband, who is a state police trooper. But investigators haven't been able to focus on any leads, Hall said.

"We're considering anyone who knew our victim to be a suspect," he said. "We've eliminated no one."

Along with her husband, White is survived by two daughters.

Officials had hoped to reopen the park and zoo Sunday. But state police crime investigators needed an extra day to search for any evidence that could help pinpoint where a gunman may have stood.

The park and zoo are expected to reopen today.

NEWS - Lansing police probe shooting at city zoo

Lansing police probe shooting at city zoo
Daily Globe
Ironwood, Michigan
Monday, June 25, 2001

Lansing, Mich. [AP] - The city zoo remained closed through the weekend while police investigated a shooting that killed a 41-year-old woman.

Lansing police Lt. Raymond Hall said police don't know where the shot that struck Bernita White came from as she walked with her daughter on Saturday.

Police have interviewed at least a dozen of White's acquaintances, and her husband, who is a state police Trooper. But investigators haven't been able to focus on any leads, Hall said.

"We're considering anyone who knew our victim to be a suspect," he said. We've eliminated no one."

Along with her husband, White is survived by two daughters.

Officials had hoped to reopen the park and zoo Sunday. But state police crime investigators needed an extra day to search for any evidence that could help pinpoint where a gunman may have stood.

The park and zoo opened at 9 a.m. Today.




NEWS - Lansing zoo shooter sought

Lansing zoo shooter sought
The Argus-Press
Owosso, Michigan
Mon., June 25, 2001

Lansing, Mich. [AP] - The city zoo remained closed through the weekend while police investigated a shooting that killed a 41-year-old woman.

Lansing police Lt. Raymond Hall said police have no one in custody, and don't know where the shot that struck the Bernita White came from as she walked with her daughter on Saturday.

Police have interviewed at least a dozen of White's acquaintances, and her husband who is a state police Trooper. But investigators haven't been able to focus on any leads, Hall said.

"We're considering anyone who knew our victim to be a suspect," he said. "We've eliminated no one."

Along with her husband, White is survived by two daughters.

Officials had hoped to reopen the park and zoo Sunday. But state police crime investigators needed an extra day to search for any evidence that could help pinpoint where a gunman may have stood.

White was shot once just after 3:30 p.m. Saturday while walking with her daughter and friends from a picnic area toward the zoo's ticket booth.

At least 300 people were enjoying a sunny afternoon in the park and the zoo at the time of the shooting.

"Before this, open alcohol was a big deal in Potter Park - loud music was a common call," Hall said. "This is just as shocking to law enforcement as it is to the public. We just don't see this type of violence."

At least 20 officers, six detectives and every available dog-tracking team combed the area soon after the shooting.

Witnesses reported hearing one or two shots, possibly from a wooded area north of the zoo entrance. No one reported seeing who fired the shot.




NEWS - Police seek clues in zoo shooting; no arrests made

Police seek clues in zoo shooting; no arrests made
Officials close park in search of bullet that killed woman
Lansing State Journal
Lansing, Mich.
June 25, 2001

Potter Park Zoo remained closed Sunday while police scoured the grounds searching for the bullet that killed 41-year-old Bernita White.

Police have no one in custody, and don't know where the shot that struck the Delta Township woman came from as she walked in front of her daughter Saturday, Lansing police Lt. Raymond Hall said.

Police have interviewed at least a dozen of White's acquaintances, and her husband, state police Trooper Artis White. But investigators haven't been able to focus on any leads, Hall said.

"We're considering anyone who knew our victim to be a suspect,'' he said. "We've eliminated no one."

Along with her husband, Bernita White is survived by two daughters.

Artis White declined to speak with a reporter outside his home Sunday.

Neighbor Cathleen Airola has known Artis and Bernita White for about five years. She heard of White's death Sunday morning.

"She was a very generous woman - a wonderful neighbor,'' Airola said. "We would all meet in the street to chat. All our kids played together.

"She loved to bake. She would send cookies over. Just the small things that make a difference in a neighborhood."

Officials had hoped to reopen the park and zoo Sunday. But state police crime investigators needed an extra day to search for any evidence that could help pinpoint where a gunman may have stood.

The park and zoo are expected to reopen today.

White was shot once just after 3:30 p.m. Saturday while walking with her daughter and friends from a picnic area toward the zoo's ticket booth.

Investigators remain dumbfounded by the shooting. At least 300 people were enjoying a sunny afternoon in the park and the zoo at the time of the shooting.

"Before this, open alcohol was a big deal in Potter Park - loud music was a common call,'' Hall said.

"This is just as shocking to law enforcement as it is to the public. We just don't see this type of violence."

Park officials say they can't remember a similar event that forced an evacuation in Potter Park's history.

Adam and Brandy Thompson drove to Potter Park to enjoy a Sunday picnic. But they were turned away by an officer behind yellow police tape.

"I was a little surprised,'' said Brandy Thompson, brushing her yellow Labrador at nearby Sycamore Park. "I was just there three weeks ago with my nephew.''' Police had said that the shooting appeared random. "But we're not ruling anything out,'' Hall said.

"Statistically speaking, there are few homicides that are truly random,'' he said. "In most cases, what appears to be random - upon investigating the crime - a motive develops."

Police received several dozen phone calls Sunday from people who were at the park and heard gunfire, Hall said.

At least 20 officers, six detectives and every available dog-tracking team arrived at the park to comb the area soon after the shooting. The investigation moved slowly into Sunday without progress.

Witnesses reported hearing one or two shots, possibly from a wooded area north of the zoo entrance. No one reported seeing who fired the shot.

White's death marks Lansing's second homicide in three days - its first two of 2001.

On Thursday, Lansing's Delayno Hudson, 39, was shot and killed at his cellular phone store.

NEWS - State police experts help in investigation

State police experts help in investigation
June 25, 2001
Lansing State Journal
By Katie Matvias

Lansing police turn to the Michigan State Police for their expertise and technology when it comes to complex homicide scenes.

State police are assisting in the investigation of Bernita White's shooting - the city's second homicide of 2001.

White was shot once just after 3:30 p.m. Saturday while walking with her daughter and friends from a picnic area toward the Potter Park Zoo ticket booth.

Witnesses reported hearing one or two shots, possibly from a wooded area north of the zoo entrance. No one has reported seeing who fired the shot.

Lansing's Crime Scene Investigation unit was at the scene Saturday collecting physical evidence, including photographs and blood specimens, Lansing police Lt. Raymond Hall said.

But they couldn't determine where the shooter was when White was killed and have been unable to locate the bullet, Hall said.

That's why Lansing turned to the state police for assistance. The state police can gather information beyond Lansing's capability, said Lansing police Chief Mark Alley.

"It's about being able to have an expert in trajectory of a bullet,'' Alley said. "When you need that, you need it now.''' Using a measuring tool called a total station, experts can determine where the bullet came from - and where it could have landed, said Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Reinhard Pope, who works in the agency's firearms unit.

For example, investigators might start with where a victim's body fell or where two cars collide in a traffic accident.

They use an infrared beam and a pole equipped with a prism to measure distance, angles and elevations from different locations.

Investigators press a button on the device to record the data from each location.

"And when you're done, it will make a scale drawing of the whole area. It's really similar to survey equipment,'' Pope said.

The total station measurements are much more accurate than using measuring tape, he said.

The state police helicopter also flew over the zoo to give investigators a better look at the area.

Sunday, June 24, 2001

NEWS - Woman shot dead outside Lansing Zoo

Woman shot dead outside Lansing Zoo
The Blade
Toledo, Ohio
Associated Press
Sunday, June 24, 2001

Lansing - A 40-year-old woman was shot dead yesterday as she waited for her husband to pick her up in front of Potter Park Zoo, according to a Lansing broadcaster.

The woman was with her daughter near the entrance of the zoo when she was shot about 3:15 p.m., according to television station WLNS. No suspect was in custody and no motive was known.

The zoo was evacuated, and employees were asked to leave. Police were scouring the park to look for the suspect and for clues, WLNS reported.

No other details were immediately available.

Zoo officials could not immediately be reached for comment.


NEWS - Woman dies after shooting at zoo

Woman dies after shooting at zoo
Hundreds evacuated from Potter Park as police seek assailant
June 24, 2001
Lansing State Journal
By Adam Emerson

Police evacuated hundreds of people from Potter Park on Saturday after a 41-year-old Lansing woman was shot and killed outside the zoo.

Bernita K. White was shot once just after 3:30 p.m. while walking with her daughter and friends from a picnic area toward the zoo's ticket booth, police Lt. Raymond Hall said.

White was pronounced dead at Sparrow Hospital about an hour later. Her death marks Lansing's second homicide in three days and second of the year.

Police have no one in custody and no suspects.

"You never assume anything, but this appears to be a random shooting,'' Hall said. "We don't have a motive. We don't have a shooter.

"There's a lot of unanswered questions."

Witnesses reported hearing one or two shots, possibly from a wooded area north of the zoo entrance, Hall said. No one, though, saw who fired the shot.

Lansing Parks Director Murdock Jemerson said he couldn't remember an evacuation in the park's history. At least 300 people were believed to be in the park and zoo, enjoying a sunny afternoon.

"This is the first time we've ever had anything like this,'' Jemerson said. "This just doesn't happen here."

White and her daughter were dropped off at the zoo by her husband. He arrived a half- hour after his wife was shot, expecting to pick them up.

Officers ushered a fleet of cars out of the park's main entrance off Pennsylvania Avenue. The park was roped off by police tape about 4:15 p.m. Nearby Sycamore Park also was shut off.

About 20 officers, six detectives and every available dog- tracking team combed the park, the zoo and surrounding neighborhoods. A state police helicopter performed an aerial search.

Some park goers scattered when they heard the gunfire. Others, believing they'd heard firecrackers, stayed at the park - until a bevy of police cars sped through.' Abandoned food and water bottles remained on picnic tables near where White was shot. Yellow police tape cordoned off the pathway near the children's play area.

Families scurried quickly, hand-in-hand, to waiting cars that whisked them away.

Lansing's Elena Paizana heard a shot as she walked through the park with her 9- year-old son, Antonio.

"It was loud - really loud,'' said Paizana, standing with her son near the entrance at Pennsylvania Avenue, waiting for her husband to pick them up.

"We were just going for a walk,'' she said. "About 15 cop cars came through. They just told everybody to get out."

Alan Gurski was at the zoo with his friends when he heard park officials over an intercom order everyone to leave.

"We were just ready to walk out,'' Gurski said. "We saw the area roped off right outside the zoo."

The park and the zoo were closed for the rest of Saturday, Jemerson said. The park and zoo will be open today.

All animals in the zoo were fed just before 5 p.m. and placed in their pens. A zookeeper went back by 8 p.m. Saturday to check on them.

Ithaca's Rick Umlauf was riding his bike along the River Trail over Pennsylvania Avenue just after the shooting. He rides the trail about once a week when he works in Lansing.

"This is where people bring their families on the weekends, their kids,'' Umlauf said. "What happens when you can't come to the zoo?''

Although police believe the shooting was random, they'll interview White's family and friends to see if anyone may have wanted to harm her.

"This could be anything from an accidental discharge to an intentional homicide,'' Hall said.

"But they'd have to be one hell of a good shot.''' Contact Adam Emerson at 377- 1058 or aemerson@lsj.com.

"We don't have a motive. We don't have a shooter."

Lt. Raymond Hall , Lansing police spokesman

How to help

Anyone who heard gunfire or has information about Saturday's park shooting is urged to call the Lansing Police Department at 483-4600.' Potter Park Zoo will be open today.

NEWS - Lansing zoo scoured after mom shot dead -

Lansing zoo scoured after mom shot dead
Detroit News
Mike Martindale
Sunday, June 24, 2001

LANSING -- Police are looking for the person who fatally shot a Lansing woman at the Potter Park Zoo on Saturday afternoon.

Bernita K. White , 40, was walking into the zoo with her 8-year-old daughter and several friends at about 3:30 p.m. when she was hit by a bullet apparently fired randomly from an unknown location, Lansing Police Lt. Ray Hall said.

"They had been in a picnic and tot-lot area with friends and were going in to look at the animals when there was a loud noise and she dropped to the ground," Hall said. "Some people at first thought it was a firecracker, but when it spread there had been a shooting, people poured out with their children."

White was taken to Sparrow Hospital, where she was pronounced dead of a single gunshot wound. Meanwhile, police evacuated hundreds of visitors from the park, which was still being searched Saturday night.

White 's husband learned of her death when he arrived at the zoo about an hour after the shooting with another daughter to pick up his family.

Hall said police have no motive for the shooting and had not determined where the gunshot had been fired.

"We've talked with her friends and were told there were no incidents, arguments or confrontations at the zoo," Hall said. "They were out enjoying a summer day when this happened."

Hall said the zoo area is a relatively crime-free area where "an open container of alcohol would be considered a big deal."

Investigators want to talk to anyone who was at the zoo on Saturday. They can be reached at (517) 483-4600 .