Kensington Suspect Found Dead - NBC4 Washington

Kensington Suspect Found Dead

Police locate Philip Gilberti, who died as a result of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound



    Newly released security camera video from a nearby business shows a surreal scene key in the investigation of the Kensington murder. News4's Jackie Bensen reports. (Published Wednesday, March 14, 2012)

    A man suspected of killing his ex-wife was found dead Tuesday night inside of a home on Fordham Street in Rockville, Md., according to Montgomery County Police.

    Phillip Joseph Gilberti was accused of killing Heather Lynn McGuire, 37, in the middle of Connecticut Avenue Tuesday morning in Kensington.  Police said Gilberti died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

    The shooting happened at about 9:40 a.m. on Tuesday at the intersection of Connecticut and Knowles avenues in Kensington. The victim, who had filed a protective order against the suspect in November, was shot in the back of the head and thrown from a vehicle.

    "According to witnesses, it appeared that there was some commotion in the vehicle," said Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger.  "One witness described seeing the woman trying to get out of the van, the man pulling her back, shooting her and then pushing her out into the roadway."

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    Montgomery County Police say the suspect was the victim's estranged husband, Gilberti, 51 (pictured). On Tuesday afternoon, they issued a warrant for his arrest for first-degree murder.

    McGuire had filed a three-day protective order against Gilberti on Nov. 5, 2011, and a weeklong order on Nov. 8. A final protective order was dated Nov. 14, 2011, and set to be valid for one year.

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    She requested protection due to threats of violence, mental injury of a child, detaining against will and stalking. "He slapped me, shoved me, hit me with freezer door," McGuire wrote in the order.

    She also requested protection for four children, ranging in age from one to 17.

    "If I catch you with another man, I will kill you both," Gilberti allegedly said, according to one of the documents. "And if you call the police on me, I better be locked up for a long time 'cause I'll be coming back for you."

    Raw Video: Footage of Kensington Shooting Scene

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    As a condition of the protective order, Gilberti was ordered to surrender any firearms he owned. He was also ordered to attend counseling for domestic violence and drug/alcohol use.

    Gilberti apparently attended a court hearing earlier on Tuesday, News4's Chris Gordon reported.

    Indi Hettiarachchi, a manager at a nearby Shell gas station, told Gordon that the victim appeared to be riding in a green or silver minivan before the shooting occurred. 

    Hettiarachchi, the station manager, said he heard a "pop," and then saw the woman in the middle of the road. Another witness described the shooter's weapon as a rifle or shotgun.

    The driver of a tractor-trailer that was traveling on Connecticut Avenue told Gordon that he had to swerve to avoid hitting the victim as she fell onto the roadway. 

    Employees at a nearby health clinic rushed to the scene to administer CPR, but could not save her.

    Connecticut Avenue was closed in both directions while police investigated the scene.

    On Tuesday afternoon in Rockville, police located the minivan they believe was used in the murder. They later received information that Gilberti may have been inside a Rockville residence. Police entered at approximately 10:30 p.m. and found him dead.

    Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070. Callers may remain anonymous.

    The Shell station across the street from Tuesday's incident was also the location of a sniper shooting on Oct. 3, 2002. In that case, Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, 25, was vacuuming her minivan at the station when she was shot and killed.