Gaithersburg police investigating hit and run as homicide -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated at 3:23 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2012.

Montgomery County police are investigating a vehicle/pedestrian collision in Gaithersburg that left a 34-year-old man dead as a homicide.

At 1:17 a.m. Dec. 5, Gaithersburg and Montgomery County police responded to a report of a pedestrian struck on West Diamond Avenue, according to Officer Rebecca Innocenti, a Montgomery County police spokeswoman.

Police said a 34-year-old man told them that he and his brother — the deceased victim — were given a ride to a spot near the Gaitherstowne Plaza at Route 355 and Chestnut Street by people in a black Honda Civic earlier that morning. As the two men were walking west on West Diamond Avenue shortly after they were dropped off, they were struck by a black Honda Civic, Innocenti said.

The surviving man told police he believes it was the same car that he and his brother had been riding in a few minutes earlier, Innocenti said.

Shortly after arriving at the scene, officers found an unoccupied black Honda Civic in the Gaitherstowne Plaza which had damage consistent with a pedestrian collision, Innocenti said.

Police have since identified the driver and are coordinating with the State’s Attorney’s Office to determine appropriate charges, Innocenti said, adding that the investigation is still ongoing.

The surviving man was treated at a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The accident shut down West Diamond Avenue until about 9:30 a.m. The Avalon School, located nearby at 200 Avalon Ave., was also shut down for the day, according to Richard McPherson, the school’s president.

“Police called the school at 4 o’clock and asked us to close the school,” he said.

A few teachers tried to show up but couldn't get in, he said.

“It was quite a thing,” he said. “My phone was buzzing off the hook from about 6 to about 8:30 a.m.”

Police are asking anyone with information regarding this crime to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 866-411-8477. Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest or indictment for this crime.

sjbsmith@gazette.net