- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 10, 2001

LUSBY, Md. A man who is accused of killing two brothers at a construction site before taking a woman hostage surrendered yesterday after the woman escaped, state police said.
Elsie Reeves, 61, escaped from her trailer home after telling Matthew T. Keyser, 32, that she had to use the bathroom. Minutes later, Mr. Keyser told negotiators he would surrender, and was arrested after he walked out the front door of the trailer unarmed, said Lt. John Horne, a St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office spokesman.
"He was a very good gentleman, believe it or not," Mrs. Reeves said. "He treated me with respect. He never threatened me."
Mrs. Reeves said her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend were in the trailer home when Mr. Keyser burst in Monday afternoon, but he let them go.
Armed with a shotgun, Mr. Keyser broke into her house Monday afternoon, asked for a drink of water and looked in her refrigerator. He then took her car keys and tried to drive away, but stopped and went back into the house once he saw police officers, Mrs. Reeves said.
Mr. Keyser was very upset when he first entered the trailer, but calmed down and was kind to her the rest of the night, she said.
The two had long conversations and Mrs. Reeves even took a nap during the ordeal, she said.
Calvert County Sheriff John Bartlett said Mr. Keyser went from abusive to apologetic during the night-long negotiations.
"His biggest concern was what his family members and children would think of him as a murderer," Sheriff Bartlett said.
Mr. Keyser, armed with a shotgun, threatened suicide several times throughout the night and also threatened to kill the hostage, Sheriff Bartlett said.
No shots were fired after he entered the trailer, in a wooded area of Southern Maryland, at about noon Monday. Sheriff Bartlett said Mr. Keyser, of Lusby, had asked to speak with his wife repeatedly, but was denied.
Negotiators consulted with Mr. Keyser's mother, his wife, his friends and his co-workers, but none spoke with Mr. Keyser during the standoff, Sheriff Bartlett said.
State police said they planned to charge Mr. Keyser with about 10 counts. St. Mary's sheriff's officials said he would be charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Mr. Keyser was walked in handcuffs with his head down to a waiting police car. He was taken to state police barracks in Prince Frederick.
Mrs. Reeves, wearing a sweat shirt and jeans, refused medical treatment and appeared composed after her escape.
During the 22-hour standoff, police cordoned off an area of about a half-mile in diameter, closing several businesses.
About 40 officers were on the scene yesterday morning, including SWAT teams working five-hour shifts, and hostage negotiators, said Maj. Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman.
After the shooting at a construction site Monday morning in California in St. Mary's County, the gunman drove about four miles, crossing the Gov. Thomas Johnson Memorial Bridge into Calvert County, where a trooper tried to stop his red-and-white Ford Ranger on Route 4. The man fired at least four shotgun rounds at the trooper's cruiser before running into the woods and taking Miss Reeves hostage, Maj. Shipley said.
The trooper was not injured.
Investigators do not believe Mr. Keyser knew or had any connection with Miss Reeves, Maj. Shipley said.
Mr. Keyser believed that one of his co-workers was having an affair with his wife and went to the construction site looking for the co-worker, Lt. Horne said.
After he didn't find the co-worker, he is said to have shot two other co-workers, one of whom died on the scene; the other died later at Prince George's Hospital Center.

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