Man fatally shoots estranged wife at Bel Air home, kills self, police say

February 05, 2002|By Lane Harvey Brown | Lane Harvey Brown,SUN STAFF

Three young children fled their Bel Air home yesterday evening as their mother was chased outside and fatally shot on the driveway after an argument with her estranged husband, the Harford County sheriff's office said.

Police surrounded the house on Camelot Drive for five hours after the shooting, trying to contact the husband - then found him dead in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest in an apparent suicide, said Lt. Ed Hopkins, spokesman for the sheriff's office.

The victim, Gayle Hayes, had obtained a protective restraining order for her husband, Denvil L. Hayes Jr., 45 - to stay away from her, but invited him to the house yesterday to discuss their situation, Hopkins said.

According to authorities, the husband entered the house shortly after 5 p.m. armed with a handgun, and pursued his wife to the driveway, where he shot her twice.

The victim's three children - twin 6-year-old boys and an 8-year-old girl - had fled as the parents argued, and the mother told one of them to call 911 for help.

One of the boys saw his mother lying on the ground after the shots were fired, and the children sought help at a neighbor's home across the street where a call to police was made, Hopkins said.

When police and paramedics arrived, they found Hayes lying in the driveway. She was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, Hopkins said.

The children were staying last night with relatives, the spokesman said.

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