Montgomery County police said this morning they have identified a man who exchanged gunfire with police in Gaithersburg last night after a traffic stop, but have not established why he apparently killed himself afterwards.
Police Capt. John Fitzgerald said Dale Francis Connolly, 51, of New Market, Md., was stopped by officers after a motorist reported a car weaving as it moved south on Woodfield Road at about 11 p.m. The motorist had followed the driver until police arrived.
When officers stopped the car, the driver got out and immediately opened fire with a handgun, Fitzgerald said, hitting one officer in the torso but not injuring him because he was wearing a bullet resistant vest.
After the gunfight, the man fled about 75 to 100 yards from the scene into a darkened area off the road where police found his body early this morning. He had apparently shot himself, Fitzgerald said.
"We certainly owe a debt of gratitude to this caller," Fitzgerald said of the driver who followed the car. The driver "was in some danger without knowing it," he said. "But a dunk driver is a deadly threat too."
He said police were relieved that the officer shot was uninjured. "This is the week that we remember and honor all of those who have lost their lives in the line of policing. We do not want our list to grow any longer."