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Posted at 03:45 PM ET, 03/13/2012

‘Possible suspect’ sought in Kensington slaying

Philip J. Gilberti (Courtesy Montgomery County Police)
A woman was shot and killed in Montgomery County on Tuesday morning, and police issued an alert for a man they identified as a “possible suspect.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Montgomery County police said they were searching for Philip J. Gilberti, 51. They said he may be armed and is believed to be on foot. He was last seen wearing a red shirt, dark jeans, dark boots and carrying a duffle bag.

Police ask that anyone who spots Gilberti call 911, and said he should not be approached.

Police said Gilberti is a possible suspect in the fatal shooting that took place in the area near Connecticut and Knowles avenues in Kensington shortly before 9:40 a.m. as a man and woman were heading southbound in a van.

The woman, who was not immediately identified, was reportedly shot in the head and fell to the road.

Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said police received a number of calls at about 9:39 a.m. reporting the shooting. He said officers arrived to find citizens rendering first aid to a woman who was lying in the southbound lanes of Connecticut Avenue. He said police officers took over emergency efforts, but the woman died.

After piecing together witness accounts, Manger said, police think that a man and woman were driving southbound and appeared to have some sort of altercation. At least one witness reported that it looked like the woman tried to get out of the van, but that the man pulled her back in and shot her, he said. After the woman fell to the road, the van sped off.

“Everything points to the fact that this was not a random act,” Manger said.

Kensington shooting scene (Dan Morse)
Police initially issued an alert for a green or gray van they said the man may have been driving. Authorities were examining speed cameras to pin down information on the van, which continued south on Connecticut Avenue, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the case.

Police said early reports indicated he may have had a rifle. Manger declined to specify what type of weapon may have been used, saying police are trying to piece together evidence.

Connecticut and Knowles avenues and Plyers Mill Road were shut down while police investigated. The shooting occurred in a commercial area of Kensington near the Kensington Shopping Center. There is a gas station on one corner and a doctor’s office on another.

This Post has been updated.

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