Man killed in apparent murder-suicide attempt in Laurel

A man allegedly shot and killed another man who was dating his estranged wife before attempting to take his own life in Laurel Wednesday night, Anne Arundel County police said.

The victim, Howard Richard Popp Jr., 39, from Owings Mills, was found in the roadway in the 3300 block of Sudlersville South around 10:40 p.m., police said. He was lifeless when police arrived and was later pronounced dead at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The suspect was also taken to Shock Trauma with life-threatening injuries and has been charged with first- and second-degree murder, among other charges, police said.

Police identified the suspect as Robert Babauta Mendiola, 39, of Laurel. His charges have not yet appeared in online court records and it could not be determined whether he had obtained a lawyer.

Police said Mendiola's wife had separated from him in July and obtained a final protective order, but Mendiola continued to attempt to reunite with her as she began dating Popp. Mendiola's estranged wife and Popp were sitting in a car when Mendiola approached, and Popp was shot multiple times with a handgun after the two had gotten out of the car.

Mendiola fled the scene and barricaded himself in a shed in the 300 block of Old Line Avenue, and when police broke into the shed, Mendiola had shot himself.

Police called the investigation "very active and fluid" and said anyone with information should call homicide detective Dan Myers 410-222-3413 or Metro Crime Stoppers.

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