ESSEX — Violence tore through Essex Sunday in connected incidents which left five dead, including perpetrator Joshua Green, parents Douglas and Olivia Green and two Royal Farms customers.
Police identified the shooter as 27-year-old Joshua Green. Green had no criminal contacts with police, and used a registered firearm purchased legally last year.
Early Sunday morning, Green approached the Royal Farms on Middleborough Road and Back River Neck Road. He used his vehicle to block in parked cars before shooting and killing 62-year-old Alpha Smith through her car window. It was 6:43 a.m.
Green then entered the store and killed 43-year-old Silvesta Daye, a customer near the cash register. Green also shot 22-year-old Joshua Robinson, an employee who was transported to a local hospital and is in a stable condition.
Green then drove to his home at Hartland Village Apartments. His unit at the 1400 block of Shadetree Road was ‘fully engulfed’ with flames when officers arrived, and they found Green outside, deceased from a gunshot wound.
It’s standard operating procedure to notify next of kin when a person dies, and so officers headed to the home of Green’s parents at the 14000 block of Manor Road in Phoenix. There, they found Douglas and Olivia Green, 58 and 62, deceased after apparently having been shot.
Detectives believe that Green’s rampage began at his parents’ house in the early hours of Sunday morning, but have yet to establish a motive. Police say that the three incidents are connected, and they are not searching for any additional suspects at this time.
“As to why this occurred, we have no idea,” said Baltimore County Police Colonel Andre Davis at a press conference at the department headquarters Monday. “Our homicide detectives are tirelessly investigating a motive, but it appears that the shooter acted alone.”
Chief Melissa Hyatt stressed that they are in the preliminary stages of an investigation, promising to share updates as more information comes to light.
“All of us have more questions than answers about the events that occurred yesterday,” Hyatt said at the press conference, expressing grief for the lives lost. “For the friends and family of the victims, for the employees of the Royal Farms store and our entire Baltimore County community, our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
County Executive John Olszewski, Jr., who joined Hyatt and Davis to share a few remarks, said that Sunday’s incidents were ‘an act of senseless violence and a horrifying tragedy.’ He commended the response from law enforcement, saying that Hyatt and her team have his full support in pursuing an investigation.
“My deepest condolences go out to the families of everyone who lost a loved one yesterday, and my prayer goes to the injured employee for a swift and full recovery,” Olszewski said. “I know that we will all be hugging our loved ones a little tighter today.”
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