Attempted Laurel murder-suicide involved boyfriend, ex-husband

Cathy Mendiola and Howard Popp pose in a photo. (Courtesy Cathy Mendiola)

LAUREL, Md. — An attempted murder suicide in Laurel, Maryland, Wednesday night involved an ex-husband and the current boyfriend of a woman.

Robert Mendiola, 39, shot Howard Popp and subsequently turned the gun on himself on Sudlersville South around 10:40 p.m., according to Anne Arundel County police. Popp later died from his injuries.

Robert Mendiola, a Laurel resident, is under police watch in a hospital with serious injuries, according to police.

“He never made any threats,” says Cathy Mendiola, referring to her ex-husband. “We never knew this was coming.”

Sobbing as she spoke, Cathy Mendiola told WTOP she had been dating Popp for about two months.

She was with him, outside her home on Sudlersville South, when her ex-husband showed up.

“He said, ‘What’s up Howard?’ Then he took a step back, pulled out a gun, and he shot Howard,” Cathy Mendiola explained.

Robert Mendiola is being charged with first- and second-degree murder among other charges.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

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