Originally created 11/18/02

Police look for link to snipers



GAFFNEY, S.C. - It's been more than 9 months since a minister was shot to death outside a grocery store, and Cherokee County's sheriff wants a federal task force investigating the sniper shootings around Washington, D.C., to look into his unsolved case.

Sheriff Bill Blanton said deputies still have no suspects in the slaying of the Rev. Perry Posey in February. He was found after he apparently tried to drive for help and hit a guardrail on an Interstate 85 entrance ramp.

Sheriff Blanton said he passed along the information on the Rev. Posey's case to the task force because it was an unresolved shooting death along an interstate highway.

The recent sniper shootings left 10 people dead and three wounded in the Washington area. The sniper suspects, John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo, also are charged with shootings in Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia and are suspected in a shooting in Washington state.

"We knew (the sniper suspects) had been in Atlanta and wanted to know if they might have come through here and possibly be linked to the killing of Rev. Posey in February," he said. "We're pursuing every avenue to try and solve this."

However, the Rev. Posey was killed with a shotgun, a weapon the sniper suspects are not believed to have used.

"I realize the weapon used was different. But the two people charged in the sniper deaths used three different kinds of weapons. So, how do we know they didn't use a fourth?" Sheriff Blanton asked.

If the federal investigators turned up any link, he said, they would be back in touch with Cherokee County authorities.