Longtime state trooper shoots himself in downtown Frederick

October 22, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

FREDERICK, MD. - Police say a state trooper shot and killed himself Saturday on a street corner in downtown Frederick.

Sgt. Pride Rivers, a 20-year veteran who led the department's extradition unit, shot himself in the head around 11:30 a.m. Saturday on the corner of West South and South Bentz streets.

State police say that minutes before the shooting, the 43-year-old from Frederick tried to speak to his wife at her mother's home in the 100 block of South Bentz Street.

"It's our understanding his wife did not want to talk to him," said State Police spokesman Greg Shipley.

Rivers' wife then left her mother's home and walked to a group home at the corner of West South and South Bentz, Shipley said. When Rivers went to the door there, he was turned away by two attendants, Shipley said.


Witnesses told police Rivers then walked back around the corner to South Bentz Street and they heard a gunshot.

Police say Rivers' .40-caliber pistol was found beside him. It was not his duty weapon.

Rivers was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Frederick police and state police are conducting a joint investigation.

Rivers was assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division in Columbia, Md. As head of the extradition unit, he served warrants, tracked down fugitives and brought fugitives back from out of state, Shipley said. He was not on duty Saturday.

An increased risk of suicide is one of the concerns associated with police work, Shipley said.

"It's something we have implemented steps to safeguard against," he said.

There have not been any suicides within Maryland State Police in recent years, but counseling services are available for officers experiencing difficulties and the department provides training in detecting signs that officers might be considering suicide, Shipley said.

No one had reported any concerns about Rivers, he said.

"Sgt. Rivers was a very dedicated employee who did his job very well and was very faithful to Maryland State Police," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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