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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shooting Investigated For Link to U.S. Sniper

MANASSAS, Virginia -- A man was shot and killed after filling his tank at a Virginia gas station, and police were trying to determine whether he was the latest victim of the sniper who has terrorized the Washington area for a week.

Meanwhile, a tarot card with the words "Dear policeman, I am God" emerged as a potential clue in the investigation into the sniper slayings of six people and the wounding of two in Washington and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

Virginia State Police said two men were seen driving away in a white Dodge Caravan after the shooting Wednesday night in Prince William County, near Manassas, 50 kilometers west of the nation's capital.

Prince William County police chief Charlie Deane said the victim had just finished paying for gas, was not from the area and was traveling solo when he was shot. He said the victim's identity would be released once his family was notified.

"At this point, we cannot say if this case is related to those shootings," Deane said Thursday.

Maryland investigators went to the scene of the killing because of similarities with the previous shootings, according to Montgomery County Executive Douglas Duncan. "Everything is very similar," he said.

The previous Virginia shooting was 65 kilometers to the south. Two of the Maryland shootings were at gas stations, and one witness had told police he saw two men in a white truck or van leaving the scene of a shooting outside a post office.

On Monday, a 13-year-old boy was critically wounded by a gunman at a middle school in Bowie, Maryland, about 65 kilometers from Wednesday's slaying. The 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 if authorities had linked the casing to the attacks.

Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose wouldn't comment about the tarot card and angrily suggested unapproved information had been leaked.

"I need to make sure I don't do anything to hinder our ability to bring this person or these people into custody," Moose said.

The "I am God" message left on the tarot card called the Death card was reported by WUSA-TV and The Washington Post. Police sources told the newspaper the items were found 135 meters from the school in a wooded area on matted grass, suggesting the gunman had lain in wait.

Crime experts, while noting that the link between the card and the sniper remained unconfirmed, recalled other serial killers who left "calling cards."