CUMBERLAND — The threat of being turned over to law enforcement is what investigators from C3I and the Cumberland Police Department believe to have been the motive for a murder-suicide that occurred Monday at a residence at 445 Dirks St.

The shooter, Patrick Ray Stewart, and the victim, John Adam Hartman, apparently knew each other from the workplace, according to police.

“Interviews and other related evidence recovered by investigators indicate that Hartman and Stewart were both members, and officers, of a workers union representing employees at the Thomas B. Finan Center,” police said Friday.

Hartman, 59, was employed by the Finan Center, and Stewart, 46, recently had retired from there because of disability, police said.

“There were allegations that recently came to light that Stewart was involved in embezzling union funds, and that Hartman had confronted him about the illegal activity and was threatening to report these allegations to law enforcement.

“This, along with animosity over personal issues, is believed by investigators to be the motive for the shootings,” police said.

Stewart arrived at Hartman’s residence Monday shortly after 3 p.m. and an apparent argument ensued, according to police.

Stewart produced a 9 mm handgun that he allegedly used to shoot Hartman four times, police said.

At 3:41 p.m., Stewart used a cell phone to call a relative, requesting that the relative contact Cumberland Police and have them send officers to Hartman’s residence.

Stewart then shot himself one time in the head, fatally wounding him, police said.

C3I investigators and evidence collection technicians with Cumberland Police and Maryland State Police processed the scene for evidence and the bodies were sent to the Maryland State Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore for autopsies.

“All four spent bullet rounds were recovered from Hartman’s body, as well as the one spent round from Stewart’s body,” police said.

After the relative received Stewart’s phone call, another relative went to the Hartman residence and found the entrance door locked but was able to look inside, where he saw a body lying on the floor. He forced the door open, discovering that both Hartman and Stewart “were suffering from gunshot wounds,” police said.

Stewart’s relative ran outside and flagged down a passing motorist, who called 911 on his cell phone. The Allegany County Department of Emergency Services received the call at 3:56 p.m. and dispatched Cumberland Police, with the first officers arriving at 4:01 p.m. to secure the scene.

Interviews are continuing in this investigation. Anyone who may have further information is asked to contact the C3I Unit at (301) 777-0326.

Alison Bunting can be reached at

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