- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 7, 2008

TRAPPE, Md. (AP) | Police found a man and a woman dead inside a home Friday afternoon after a five-hour standoff that snarled beach traffic on the Eastern Shore for five hours.

Troopers said John R. Spencer, 43, and his wife, Debra C. Spencer, 55, suffered gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene. The incident is being investigated as a murder-suicide, state police said.

The standoff began when an unidentified man called Maryland State Police about 10:30 a.m. and said he had shot and killed his wife. Police responded quickly to the Spencer home, which sits 100 feet off Route 50, the main route to beaches in Maryland and Delaware. The highway was shut down in both directions for eight miles, and a nearby elementary school kept children inside.

Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman, said the phone call was the last contact authorities had with the man.

“They tried calling him on the phone; they tried a bullhorn; they tried talking to him from outside, trying to make some kind of contact,” Mr. Shipley said.

Police said they only heard loud music coming from the two-story home and saw no movement inside. At 3:30 p.m., a special weapons team - which had been training nearby before the incident - decided to go inside, where a man and a woman were found dead.

Autopsies will be conducted, said Mr. Shipley, who added that murder-suicide was a possibility. He did not know whether a gun had been recovered.

Route 50 was reopened shortly before 4 p.m.

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