Department of Maryland State Police

08/13/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/13/2017 08:51

Victim And Suspect Identified In Apparent Attempted Murder-Suicide In Wicomico Co.

August 13, 2017

(WILLARDS, MD) - Maryland State Police have identified the victim and suspect in an apparent attempted murder and suicide last night in Wicomico County.

The victim is identified as Blair C. Ranneberger, 65, of Willards, Md. He remains a patient at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, where he is being treated for multiple gunshot wounds.

The suspect is identified as Evan J. Gottlieb, 25, of Berlin, Md. Gottlieb was found deceased in the victim's stolen vehicle from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. An autopsy will be conducted at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.

At about 7:14 p.m. yesterday, Maryland State Police at the Salisbury Barrack responded to a call for a shooting at a residence in the 36000-block of Sheppards Crossing Rd., Willards, Md. Responding troopers found Ranneberger suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. He was transported by ambulance to the hospital.

As troopers were responding to the Ranneberger home, another call was received about a vehicle submerged in water a short distance away in the 34000-block of Tingle Road. Police responded to that scene and a tow truck was used to pull the vehicle from the water.

The body of a man, later identified as Gottlieb, was found inside the vehicle. Gottlieb had sustained an apparent gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. A handgun was found with him in the vehicle. The vehicle was identified as the pickup truck stolen from the Ranneberger's home.

At this time, the investigation indicates Ranneberger and his wife were inside their home when they saw Gottlieb pull into their driveway in a Volkswagen Jetta, later found to be registered to the suspect. Gottlieb knocked on the front door of the home and both Ranneberger and his wife responded. Gottlieb, armed with a handgun, reportedly demanded the keys to Ranneberger's Ford F150 pickup parked outside and said the police were after him. Gottlieb was told the keys were in the truck. He then reportedly shot Ranneberger multiple times and pointed the gun at the victim's wife before fleeing the scene in the victim's pickup.

Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division crime scene technicians responded and processed the multiple scenes throughout the night. Investigators obtained search warrants and conducted numerous interviews.

Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division investigators determined the victims and suspect did not know each other. There is no motive known at this time for the suspect's actions. There is no information from any regional police departments indicating they were searching for Gottlieb or in 'pursuit' of him for any reason.

The Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office was notified and an official from that office responded to the scene. Assistance has also been provided by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit and the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office.

The investigation is continuing.