Police say a man who reported his van had been shot on U-S route 23 near Interstate-270 south of Columbus -- scrambling more than a dozen local and federal investigators -- later admitted it was a hoax. Thirty-three-year-old Richard Adams is being held in the Pickaway County jail in Circleville on charges of filing a false report, inducing panic and making a false alarm. At first, authorities yesteday had no reason to doubt Adams. He described an attack along a tract of land that authorities believe is connected to earlier shootings, including one that killed a woman. Investigators combed the stretch of Route 23 and a nearby field looking for evidence. An untold number of others were assigned to search for the gunman by air and cruiser, analyze the bullet and provide support from the task force's command center. But by nightfall, Adams admitted it was a hoax. Highway shootings task force investigators say he said he had shot the van himself.