Motive in apparent murder-suicide in Glen Burnie remains unclear

Anne Arundel County police say they are still trying to determine why a Glen Burnie man killed a roommate and himself Monday night.

Late Tuesday, police identified the shooter in the incident as Michael Allen Nelson, 51, and the victim as Thomas Alan Goat, 52.

The medical examiner's office determined both died from gunshot wounds in the apparent murder-suicide, said Lt. T.J. Smith, a police spokesman.

The two lived upstairs in a split-level home on Wendover Road in the Marley community, while renters lived on the lower floor, Smith said.

Nelson and Goat were involved in a "domestic relationship," Smith said, but it's unclear what might have led to the shooting. He said investigators are seeking information anyone may have about Nelson and Goat.

"Even though all parties are deceased, we're still looking for a conclusion," he said.

Police received a call about gunshots fired in the home at about 5 p.m. Monday. The call came from residents of the lower level who heard the shots upstairs. Police made a "tactical entry" into the home and found the two men dead in the living room.

A man who answered the door at the home Tuesday evening declined to comment.

Nelson had owned the light yellow, split-foyer home since 1991, according to state property records.

Next-door neighbor Sandy Deal described Nelson as a good neighbor. Even though he had back problems, he mowed neighbors' lawns, she said.

"Every new neighbor that moved in, he'd go down and help out," Deal said. "He was a social butterfly."

Deal said Nelson would join impromptu neighborhood barbecues on Wendover Road, a hilly street of single-family homes that leads down to Marley Creek.

Nelson was due in court next month, however, on charges of assault, reckless endangerment and using a firearm during a felony, according to online court records.

A 27-year-old woman told police Jan. 19 that she was parked at Wendover Road and Summit Avenue — up the street from Nelson's home — when a man appeared at her window, pointed a gun at her and yelled at her to leave the area. Police found Nelson nearby, intoxicated and carrying a loaded Taurus PT semi-automatic handgun, according to police reports.

Nelson legally owned the handgun, which police seized, Smith said.

Smith would not say what type of gun was used in Monday's incident, but said Nelson legally owned the weapon.

In 2011, Nelson filed assault charges against two different tenants, according to court records. The cases were put on the inactive docket and weren't prosecuted. He also filed civil cases against two men alleging they stayed in the home after their leases expired; one was dismissed, the other was resolved in Nelson's favor, according to online records.

Goat had filed assault charges against another resident of the home in 2012, but that case was also put on the inactive docket, according to online records.

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