Jarratt, Virginia (CNN) — Washington-area sniper John Allen Muhammad was executed Tuesday by lethal injection, a Virginia prisons spokesman said.
The mastermind behind the Washington-area sniper attacks of 2002 that terrorized the nation’s capital was declared dead at 9:11 p.m. ET, said Larry Traylor, director of communications for the Virginia Department of Corrections.
“There were no complications; Mr. Mohammad was asked if he wished to make a last statement,” Traylor told reporters outside the the Greenville Correctional Center. “He did not acknowledge this or make a last statement whatsoever.”
In fact, Mohammad, 48, said nothing from the time he entered the death chamber accompanied by guards at 8:58 p.m., Traylor said.
“After he was placed on the gurney and strapped down, he was very emotionless,” Traylor said.
A curtain was drawn and a volunteer team of executioners inserted two catheters — one in each arm — through which the drugs that caused his death were to flow, Traylor said.
At 9:06 p.m., when the curtain was drawn back, “They asked him right after that, ‘Mr. Muhammad, do you have any last words?’ ” recalled Jon Burkett, a reporter for WTVR who witnessed the execution from the second row of the gallery.
“He didn’t say anything. At 9:07 you could see him twitch a lot. You could see him blinking a lot. You could see his breathing increase.” After about seven deep breaths, at 9:08 p.m., he lay motionless, Burkett said.
Three minutes later, a physician working for the Department of Corrections pronounced him dead.
In a statement read on behalf of the lawyers for and family of Muhammad, defense lawyer Jon Sheldon said, “We deeply sympathize with the families and loved ones who have to relive the pain and loss of those terrible days; our sympathies also extend to the children of John Muhammad who, with humility and self-consciousness, today lost a father and a member of their family.
“To all those families and the countless citizens across the country who bore witness and continue to do so to those tragic events, we renew our condolences and we offer our prayers for a better future.”
Among the witnesses were about a dozen members of the prosecution task force.