Police investigating apparent suicide during traffic stop in Rockville -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated at 3:20 p.m. Jan. 22.

A man fatally shot himself in the Rockville area Friday after being pulled over for not wearing a seat belt, state police say.

The police investigation closed three lanes of traffic on Interstate 270 in Rockville for several hours Friday evening, slowing traffic all the way into Northern Virginia.

Just after 4 p.m. Friday, a state trooper traveling north on Interstate 270 south of Montrose Road stopped a driver in a 1997 Ford Focus for not wearing his seat belt, according to a statement from state police. The driver pulled over to the side of the road, but as the trooper exited his vehicle, he heard a gunshot, the statement said.

The trooper called for backup, and when the troopers approached the car, he found the driver unresponsive with what appeared to be a gunshot wound in his upper torso and a handgun near the center console of the car, the statement said. Emergency personnel arrived and pronounced the driver dead at the scene.

A statement from police identified the driver as Jermaine T. Jackson, 27, of the 100 block of Lazy Hollow Drive in Gaithersburg. His body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy, the statement said. The Maryland State Police homicide unit is investigating the incident.

State Police Sgt. Marc Black Sr. said police were not looking for Jackson specifically; the officer just pulled him over for not wearing a seat belt.

“It was a seat belt violation; that’s all,” he said.

Black said the investigation was ongoing as of Tuesday.

ewaibel@gazette.net