ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) _ Minutes after a woman was granted a divorce, her estranged husband shot her to death and critically wounded her daughter in the courthouse parking lot Thursday, police said.

The 49-year-old suspect, Tuse Shing Liu, went to his car, pulled out a shotgun and began firing wildly, witnesses and police said.

When his estranged wife, So Shan Chan, grabbed the shotgun, the suspect pulled out a handgun and shot both women, witnesses said.

``Man, he just (fired) a good seven or eight shots, point blank, right into them,'' said Randy Hawes, who watched from his office window. The gunman continued firing at the women as they lay on the pavement, Hawes said.

Sheriff's deputies arrested the suspect without resistance and were preparing murder charges against him.

Howard County police said Ms. Chan, 52, a seamstress who lived in Baltimore and spoke no English, had been separated from her husband, who owns a restaurant, since 1995. She had filed for divorce in July, saying her husband had assaulted her numerous times and threatened to kill her.

A clerk described Thursday's court hearing as calm. Circuit Judge Lenore Gelfman granted Ms. Chan a divorce and ordered her lawyer to draw up the proper papers.

Ms. Chan's daughter, Wing Sau Wu, 26, was in critical condition Thursday night.