A Richmond man suspected of killing two women committed suicide in Olney as Montgomery County police officers closed in on him and the stolen car he was driving, authorities said yesterday.

Reginald Levar Johnson lifted a .223-caliber assault rifle from the floor of the car and shot himself in the head about 10:30 Sunday morning as two Montgomery County officers approached with weapons drawn, Officer Derek Baliles said.

Johnson, 24, died instantly from the single gunshot.

Montgomery County police Cpl. James Brown and Officer Cynthia Prange blocked Johnson's vehicle in as he sat at Olney Sandy Spring Road and Old Baltimore Road. The officers were not aware that he was wanted on murder charges, Baliles said.

The car, a 1997 gray Mazda 626 four-door, had been stolen in Richmond that morning after someone killed Elaine Jones, 31, and wounded her 33-year-old friend, Richmond police said yesterday.

Richmond police issued arrest warrants that day for Johnson on murder and other charges.

Henrico County police also were investigating whether Johnson was responsible for the killing of 21-year-old Renardo Nicole Kersey, said Sgt. Tom Schumate, a Henrico County police spokesman. Her body was found Sunday afternoon after a relative became concerned about her well-being, Schumate said.

It is not clear why Johnson headed to Montgomery County, police said.

Tasha Zemrus, an assistant state medical examiner, ruled the death a suicide Monday, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.