A 30-year-old Mount Airy woman was fatally shot in her home today while her two small sons and infant daughter slept in adjacent bedrooms, State Police said.
Anne Rita Downs, of the 6600 block of Wind Ridge Road, was found in a second-floor bedroom of her two-story Colonial home by Maryland State Police officers from the Westminster barracks. She had been shot at least once in the head while she was in her bed, according to spokesman Chuck Jackson.
Jackson said police responded to the house in the affluent Carroll County community of Candice Estates after a bizarre series of events in which the victim's husband, Edward, called Montgomery County police about 4 a.m. from his vehicle while he was delivering newspapers near Gaithersburg.
The State Police were advised to investigate the man's house after Edward Downs told county police that he was shot at several times by two men in a late-model Camaro near Md. 355 and Md. 124.
The husband was described as "distraught" by a Montgomery County detective who said Downs' van was hit by two bullets. Downs was at the Germantown District station, where he was to be interviewed by State Police detectives.
According to Jackson, Anne Downs was shot while the couple's three children -- Tony, 8; Jeff, 4; and Rebecca, about 6 months -- slept in other bedrooms on the second floor.
No weapon had been found and no motive or solid suspects established, Jackson said.
One neighbor who knew the Downs family since they moved to Carroll County from California about 18 months ago described the victim was "outgoing and very family-oriented."
The neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said the victim's husband was employed by the Washington Post and delivered newspapers in the Montgomery County area on the overnight shift. Edward Downs, he said, had recently landscaped the front of the house.