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Man Kills Stranger Over Pen, Then Commits Suicide

August 25, 1993 GMT

SEVERNA PARK, Md. (AP) _ A man shot a stranger to death after he refused to sell his fountain pen, then committed suicide hours later in Virginia after a brief police chase.

Thomas Joseph Cummings, 23, had borrowed a fountain pen from Charles Hottel Willis at least twice at a doughnut shop early Wednesday and then asked to buy it, said Officer Terry Crowe, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Police Department.

Willis, 21, told him it was not for sale. When he approached Cummings to retrieve the pen, Cummings pulled a gun from his waistband and fired up to 10 shots as two of Willis’ friends and two shop employees watched, police said. ″They were perfect strangers,″ said Sgt. Robert Jashick, head of the county homicide unit.

Five hours later, Virginia state police spotted Cummings on Interstate 64 and tried to pull him over. Cummings, 23, drove into a Norfolk car wash and committed suicide.