Your children are not safe’

“Your children are not safe anywhere at anytime.”

Those eerie words penned by Washington’s ghostly serial killer formed the post script to a lengthy letter and to a day when the sniper may have killed for the 10th time.

The release of the exact wording tacked at the end of a letter found at the scene of Saturday’s shooting in Ashland came at the close of a day when the elusive serial killer apparently claimed the life of a 35-year-old Montgomery County, Md., commuter bus driver.

The shooting occurred at about 6 a.m., in the Aspen Hill area of Silver Spring as Conrad Johnson stood at the top step of his bus Tuesday morning. His killer then vanished into the frenzied dragnet that enveloped the metropolitan area, escaping unscathed for what is possibly the thirteenth time.

Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose revealed the part of the letter that threatened children to end recurring speculation and clear up what he said were inaccurate reports in the media.

Moose refused to comment on any other part of the letter.

The threat, which was previously shared with educators in the region, prompted the close of Richmond-area schools for the second day in a row. Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park schools remained open this week.

Johnson, a husband and father of two, parked his bus along the right side of Grand Pre Road, near its intersection with Connecticut Avenue, to clean the bus and do paperwork while he waited to depart toward his next stop, officials said.

Johnson was hit in the chest by what appears to be the sniper’s trademark, assassination-style, single shot bullet.

Moose said Tuesday afternoon that police had received another communication that day. He did not reveal what the content of that communication was, but did say police would be responding later.

He said in an earlier Tuesday press briefing that authorities could do nothing to ensure anyone’s safety from the shooter that has plagued officials in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia since Oct. 2.

“We realize that the person or the people involved in this have shown a clear willingness and ability to kill people of all ages, all races, all genders, all professions, different times, different days and different locations,” he said.

A Montgomery County police spokeswoman declined to comment on the amount of time it took to put the dragnet plan into place, saying only that such information is “part of our on going efforts.”

The site of the shooting is adjacent to North Gate Park, where police believe the shooter lay in wait. The wooded area along the edge of the park provides a clear line of sight through a small basketball court to the spot where the bus was parked.

To the left of the buses is an apartment complex.

Montgomery County police, Maryland State Police, U.S. Marshals, and agents for the FBI, Secret Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms combed the area near the tree line of North Gate Park.

Meanwhile, four helicopters, in addition to one fixed wing aircraft circled the scene Tuesday morning. It is not known if that aircraft is the reconnaissance plane that the Department of Defense has provided for the sniper case.

Moose would not comment on what witnesses saw, but said police continue to “work with witnesses.”

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