Updated: Gaithersburg man fatally shoots estranged wife and neighbor in Mount Airy, kills himself in his home

Updated: Gaithersburg man fatally shoots estranged wife and neighbor in Mount Airy, kills himself in his home

Motive under investigation

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A Gaithersburg man shot and killed his estranged wife and a neighbor in Mount Airy on Thursday afternoon before traveling to his home and killing himself, according to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office said Joseph Zujkowski, 35, shot his wife Heather Zujkowski, 36, at 7910 Bennett Branch Road around 2:50 p.m. Thursday. He then shot Noah Homayouni, 18, who lived next door.

The sheriff’s office wrote in a press release that Heather Zujkowski, who was separated from Joseph Zujkowski, and their children lived inside the home where she was shot. Homayouni, the sheriff’s office said, was outside when Zujkowski shot his wife. Joseph Zujkowski then shot Homayouni, who tried to run away, the sheriff’s office said.

Sheriff’s deputies, Maryland State troopers and Mount Airy police officers responded to the scene.

Heather Zujkowski died at the scene. Homayouni was taken to a state police helicopter that was to fly him to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, but he died before he could be taken there.

A protective order against Joseph expired in January, the press release stated.

Their three children, ages 5 to 12, were not physically harmed in the shooting. The case remains under investigation.

Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees told reporters Thursday that Zujkowski traveled to his home in Gaithersburg after the shootings, where he killed himself.

DeWees said in his press conference near the scene that Zujkowksi killed himself after “a brief standoff” with Montgomery County police. However, Officer Dan Lane, a spokesman for Gaithersburg police, said it wasn’t actually a standoff. Lane said Zujkowski shot himself as officers surrounding the home, but they didn’t communicate with him.

Both Montgomery County and Gaithersburg police went to the house and “created a perimeter,” Lane said.

The Frederick News Post  posted a video of a press conference with DeWees along with its story.

DeWees said one of his deputies spoke with Zujkowski “for a brief period of time” when he was at his Gaithersburg home.

Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti, a Montgomery County police spokeswoman, said both Gaithersburg and Montgomery County police went to the man’s home. She referred all questions to Gaithersburg police.

Lane told Bethesda Beat Thursday night that police responded to a call in the 100 block of Sloop Court, close to Gaithersburg Middle School, around 3:42 p.m.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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