- The Washington Times - Monday, April 9, 2012

A Montgomery County police officer who had been on administrative leave from his job for a year fatally shot himself after a Maryland state trooper pulled him over for apparently driving under the influence.

The man was identified by Maryland State Police as 30-year-old Jed R. Bylsma. Montgomery County police said he had worked for the department as a patrol officer in Silver Spring since 2003.

A state trooper stopped Mr. Bylsma for speeding in Talbot County along Route 50 around 1:30 a.m. Monday. Mr. Bylsma, of Gettysburg, Pa., appeared to be under the influence and told the trooper that he was a Montgomery County police officer, Maryland State Police said.

The trooper returned to his patrol car to call for backup, and during that time Mr. Bylsma drove away. Farther up Route 50, another trooper put stop sticks on the road, which deflated Mr. Bylsma’s tires when he drove over them. Troopers approached the stopped car and ordered Mr. Bylsma to exit the car.

When he did not leave the car, the troopers found that Mr. Bylsma had shot himself in the head with a handgun. He died at the scene.

“We’re saddened by this morning’s events,” Montgomery County police spokeswoman Officer Rebecca Innocenti said.

Mr. Bylsma had been on “no-duty status” or without police powers, for the last year, Officer Innocenti said. Police would not discuss the reason why Mr. Bylsma’s police powers suspended, citing personnel reasons, or whether he was on paid or unpaid leave from the department.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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