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Wife 'stable' after shooting

husband shoots, kills himself - UPDATE

May 18, 2006|By PEPPER BALLARD

FREDERICK, Md. ? A Charles Town, W.Va., man shot his wife, attempted to shoot a police officer and then killed himself Wednesday afternoon in downtown Frederick, Frederick Police Department Lt. Thomas Chase said.

The 33-year-old man, whose name was not released by this morning, was waiting for his 32-year-old wife to return to her parked car in the first block of South Bentz Street, Chase said. When she did, a conversation between the couple escalated and the man shot her in the head at 2:11 p.m., Chase said.

The woman, whose name was withheld, was flown to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she was listed in stable condition today.

A .38-caliber handgun was recovered from the man, Chase said.

The woman underwent surgery Wednesday afternoon.

Frederick Police Department Officer 1st Class Douglas Stephenson "heard the argument as he was walking in the area and saw the couple when he reached Bentz Street," Chase said in a written release.

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When Stephenson saw that the man was holding a gun, he ordered the man to drop it, Chase said.

The husband then "shot her and fired at the officer," Chase said. "The officer returned fire one time and the man retreated up the bank of the vacant lot where they were standing and shot himself."

Chase said that Stephenson dodged the bullet, which went into a nearby door. Stephenson was not injured, Chase said.

He said he would not release where the shot from the officer's gun landed until doctors with The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore complete a preliminary autopsy of the man's body, which is expected to be finished today.

The Frederick County Courthouse is about a block away from where the shooting occurred in a residential area, Cpl. Steve Patswald said.

Earlier Wednesday, the husband went to the company where his wife worked on Patrick Street "looking for her" and was told by employees that she wasn't available, Chase said.

He alleges the man went to where her car was parked and waited for her.

The woman asked a co-worker to walk with her to her car, and as she got to Bentz Street, she saw her husband and the two began to talk, Chase said.

"It escalated from a conversation to an argument," Chase said.

The co-worker was standing across the street, he said.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene, Chase said. The woman was treated at the scene and flown to Baltimore.

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