Sniper attacks, kills seventh victim

Published October 10, 2002

MANASSAS, Va. (AP) - A seventh fatal shooting in the Washington area is "consistent" with six others and may be the work of the same sniper, authorities said yesterday.

Dean Harold Meyers of Gaithersburg, Md., was gunned down Wednesday night moments after filling his tank at a northern Virginia gas station.

An autopsy showed he was killed by a single shot to his upper body, Prince William Police Chief Charlie Deane said.

Authorities stressed they had not conclusively linked the slaying to the others but cited the similarities with the eight shootings, six of them fatal, since Oct. 2 in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

It "appears to be consistent with the other shootings in the region," Deane said.

Police were searching for a white minivan seen leaving the scene of the Manassas shooting.

Two men had been seen in a white van shortly after the sniper slayings began. The vehicle described by witnesses to Wednesday's shooting was similar - a white "panel truck."

"It's a minivan but instead of windows around the side, it's solid. We don't know about windows in the back," Sgt. Kim Chinn, a Prince William County police spokeswoman, told reporters earlier yesterday. The vehicle was described as looking like a Dodge Caravan, she said.

"The assurance we can give the community is we are working as hard as we can," Chinn said.

Manassas is approximately 30 miles west of the nation's capital and about 40 miles southwest of Bowie, Md., the site of Monday's shooting that wounded a boy outside a school.

Investigators say the sniper, or snipers, fired from a distance with a high-powered hunting or military-style rifle. Like Meyers, all the earlier victims had also been felled by a single bullet.

A former neighbor of Meyers, Carol Iverson, described him as "perfectly delightful. ... He always had a kind word." She said they remained close after she moved, and he had visited her home just last week.

The 13-year-old schoolboy wounded in Bowie on Monday remained in critical but stable condition yesterday. A woman wounded in Fredericksburg, Va., last week was released from the hospital Tuesday.