Line of Duty fans were reeling tonight after not knowing whether DI Kate Fleming was alive or dead – but a picture clue could reveal her fate.

The character played by Vicky McClure was lured to a lorry park by her boss Jo Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) and ended up in a stand-off with OCG member PC Ryan Pilkington (Gregory Piper).

As the pair screamed “drop the gun” at each other, the audience heard two shots – but it was unclear who had fired first or whether either had been hit.

Fans have been agonising over the possibility one of the main trio of anti-corruption officers – Kate, DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Supt Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) – would die after creator Jed Mercurio stressed nobody was safe.

Line of Duty
DI Fleming was lured to a lorry park

McClure, 37, who has been in the show since the first series, hinted her time might be up.

Speaking on a podcast with ex-cast member Craig Parkinson, she said her death might be necessary in plot terms, just as his had been after three series of playing corrupt officer “Dot” Cottan. She told him: “Well every episode is terrifying and Jed is always there to serve the story – it is exactly what happened with Dot. Dot’s time came when it was right to serve the story and that is what Jed will always do. I don’t want to put everything out there but Jed serves the story.”

Vicky McClure plays Kate Fleming

However, one of the show’s 13 million fans pointed to a yet-to-be-seen interrogation scene that suggests she will live to fight another day with AC-12.

The scene involves McClure dressed in a striking blue top that was shared on social media by Mercurio in September.

DCI Joanne Davidson is new this season

So far Kate has not been involved in any such scene alongside Hastings as she has transferred to the Murder Investigation Unit.

The fan said: “She will live! We haven’t seen this scene yet.”

Others were more pessimistic, speculating her chances weren’t looking good after production website IMDb changed McClure’s listing as having appeared in a total 35 episodes compared with Compston and Dunbar making 36.

The pair were heading for a showdown

Prior to series six starting, McClure also hinted her time as part of the three AC-12 musketeers could be coming to an end.

She said: “You know, nothing lasts forever. It will be a really sad time, it’s the longest standing job that I’ve ever had.

“As corny as it sounds, you know there is nothing nicer than working with mates... That’s really ­important. So, it will be a bloody great shame. I’ll keep going until I’m told to not.”

Viewers must now wait until next Sunday’s penultimate episode of the BBC1 drama to discover whether Kate has survived.