Virginia Sniper Strikes Fear

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Virginia Sniper Strikes Fear

MANASSAS, Va. -- A man was shot dead while pumping gas at a Virginia Sunoco station on Wednesday night, and police were trying to determine whether he was the latest victim of the sniper who has terrorized the Washington area for a week.

The victim was identified as Dean Harold Meyers, 53, of Gaithersburg, Md. Authorities said he was shot once in the head. All the sniper victims so far have been hit with a single shot. He was slain at 8:15 p.m. after he had finished pumping gas. Surveillance video showed him slumped between a gas pump and his car, according to CNN.

Virginia State Police said two males were seen driving away in a white vehicle after the shooting at a gas station in Prince William County, near Manassas, 30 miles west of the nation's capital, the report said. Prince William County police spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Chinn said police have blocked off several streets around the gas station, and they were interviewing people at the scene.

Chinn said information was being shared with police investigating the sniper slayings of six people and wounding of two in Washington and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs in the last week. The previous Virginia shooting was 40 miles south. Maryland investigators went to the scene of Wednesday's killing because of similarities with the previous shootings, according to Montgomery County Executive Douglas Duncan, the report said.

A Maryland witness told police he saw two men in a white truck or van leaving the scene of a shooting outside a post office. Two of the Maryland shootings were at gas stations. The last shooting was on Monday when a 13-year-old boy was critically wounded by a gunman at a middle school in Bowie, Md., about 40 miles from Wednesday's slaying. A tarot card was found near a shell casing outside the school, a source familiar with the investigation said on condition of anonymity.

Authorities said the shell was a .223-caliber, the same kind of bullet that authorities believe was used in the earlier shootings. The casing is believed to be the first one recovered since the slayings began Oct. 9. Michael Bouchard, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, would not say whether authorities had linked the casing to the attacks.