On October 25th, Montgomery, Alabama police notified the Gulfport Police Department that FBI files showed the sniper suspects' vehicle was in Gulfport on the afternoon of September 28th.
Chief Wayne Payne checked his records and confirmed that an officer was called to the parking lot behind O'Reilly Auto Parts Store on Highway 49. The officer was checking out a report of a white car there, with a child inside.
When he arrived at the parking lot, he didn't find a white car. Instead, he saw a 1990 dark, blue Chevrolet with New Jersey license plate number NDA21Z. No one was inside. The officer ran a check on the tag, but didn't find anything suspicious about the car, so he left the parking lot.
People who work in the area are relieved nothing serious happened here. Auto Store Manager Mike Bridges said "It's a little uneasy that something like that could happen in this area. I didn't know anything about it until they said something about it. Just hindsight, it's a little creepy that something like that could happen here".
Chief Wayne Payne said "We're very grateful that we caught these individuals, that the authorities caught these guys. It's certainly scary for us to know that they were here, and we're very thankful that they left".
The suspects' vehicle was spotted in Gulfport, exactly a week after a fatal shooting at a convenience store in Montgomery, Alabama. Muhammad and Malvo are linked to that crime. Chief Payne says he doesn't know why their car was on the Coast. He says no serious crimes occurred in Gulfport around the time the car was found.