Employee kills self after standoff inside Silver Spring landscaping store

A tense barricade standoff at a Silver Spring landscaping business ended Monday after an employee killed himself.

The standoff started at around 8:30 a.m. after reports of shots fired inside Brookville Landscape Supply in the 8900 block of Brookville Road.

SWAT teams in camouflage were climbing piles of mulch while negotiators spoke by phone to the armed employee of the landscaping business who had used machinery to barricade himself and his vehicle behind piles of building materials.

"He was moving mulch around in the machinery and then just building up big mounds of it and he was hiding in it," said Ronnie Bannister.

He watched it all play out from his tenth floor apartment along Laytonsville Road.

"He kept backing the Bobcat over top of the mulch and he sat in there for a long time," Bannister said. "And then later, he got back into the pickup truck … I heard a shot and that's all over now."

Montgomery County police say the man ended his own life.

According to coworkers, he arrived at work Monday morning acting upset. Colleagues tell us he took a shotgun out of his grey pickup truck and pointed it at his boss. He fired into a pile of mulch and that is when he began building the barricade.

Roads and businesses in the area were shut down until it all came to an end shortly after noon. Two nearby schools sheltered in place until the standoff ended.

The Montgomery County Ride On bus fuel depot was closed off, which meant delays for the Silver Spring routes. By lunch time, everything was back up and running.