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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Bizarre attempted murder/suicide in Willards, Saturday

(Aug. 17, 2017) Maryland State Police continue to investigate a bizarre incident that occurred Saturday, apparently perpetrated by Evan Gottlieb, 25, of Berlin.
According to police, Blair Ranneberger, 65, of Willards was at home with his wife Saturday night when the couple saw Gottlieb’s Volkswagen Jetta pull into their driveway. Gottlieb apparently exited his vehicle and knocked on the Rannebergers’ door.
Both of the Rannebergers responded to the knock, when Gottlieb brandished a handgun and demanded the keys to the Ford F150 parked outside. Gottlieb allegedly told the Rannebergers the police were chasing him.
The couple told him the keys were inside the vehicle, according to police, and Gottlieb responded by opening fire, striking Blair Ranneberger four times, according to published reports. He was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, which does not comment on the status of crime victims. State police confirm Ranneberger survived the shooting, as of Wednesday morning.
Gottlieb then pointed the gun at Mrs. Ranneberger, but did not shoot her, and fled in the pickup, police said.
As police answered this call, another call was received a short distance away near Tingle Road in Willards, this time about a submerged vehicle. A tow truck pulled the vehicle from the water, confirmed it was the Rannebergers’ truck, and found Gottlieb’s body inside.
Gottlieb had suffered a gunshot wound, confirmed to be self-inflicted by the Chief Medical Officer’s office in Baltimore, and a handgun was found with him inside the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said the victims and suspect did not know each other, no motive for the incident has been determined and it has been established that no law enforcement agency in the region was looking for Gottlieb.
According to court records, Gottlieb received a speeding ticket in Worcester on Aug. 5, 2017 for traveling at 72 mph in a posted 55 mph zone, but had no other current, pending or past criminal violations on his public record.