A tense, five-hour standoff in Lansdowne between a man apparently distraught over marital problems and Baltimore County police ended early today when the man killed himself.
Timothy Francis Gill, 27, was pronounced dead of a single gunshot wound of the head inside a house in the 1900 block of Victory Drive shortly before 3 a.m., police said.
The barricade, which began about 9:45 p.m. yesterday, ended without police firing a shot and without Gill's three children -- ages 2, 5 and 7 -- ever being awakened, police said.
Sgt. Stephen Doarnberger, police spokesman, said Gill broke into the shingled semi-detached house to apparently confront his wife Margaret after the latest in a series of separations. Inside, police said Gill pointed a .380-caliber revolver at his wife, pulled the trigger but the weapon did not fire.
Neighbors called police after the 27-year-old wife bolted from the rear kitchen door.
She told police that her husband, who had been living in West Friendship since their initial separation last November, had a gun and was inside the house with the children sleeping in an upstairs front bedroom.
When police arrived, the husband was seen walking in front of a rear bedroom window with a gun placed to his head.
Officers from the Tactical Section and the Hostage Negotiation Team were summoned and took up positions around the house. Negotiators attempted to reach Gill by telephone but he would not answer its rings, Doarnberger said.
Around 10 p.m., police heard what sounded like a gunshot from inside the house.
Tactical officers placed sensitive listening devices on several windows in an attempt to hear whether Gill was making any noise or if the children had been awakened.
When police got no response, they tossed a second telephone through a front window into the house. Officers then called both phones but there was no response from Gill.
At 2:45 a.m., tactical officers -- uncertain of the fate of the children inside -- rushed the house.
Gill was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head in a rear bedroom. The children still were asleep.
A next-door neighbor said the Gills lived at the house about five years before their estrangement.
The neighbor said police negotiators set up a command post in her home.
Another resident directly across the street from the Gill home said that soon after police were called, a police sniper came to her front door and asked permission to set up a position in her front bedroom -- a spot which gave him clear sight of the Gill bedroom where the three children slept.
"He didn't say a word his entire time here," she said. "He never talked until he packed up to leave when it was all over.
"He simply said 'He's dead,' " the neighbor said.