The quiet of a Sunday morning in a community near Baltimore was shattered as a gunman killed his parents, two people at a convenience store and then himself in a shooting spree, a motive for which was not immediately clear, the police said on Monday.
The police were called at about 6:45 a.m. to a shooting at a Royal Farms convenience store in Essex, Md., which is about 12 miles east of Baltimore. Two victims were pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
The gunman, Joshua Green, 27, blocked a car in the parking lot with his car, approached the blocked car, and shot and killed Alpha Smith, 62, who was inside, Col. Andre Davis of the Baltimore County Police Department said at a news conference on Monday.
Mr. Green then headed into the store and shot and killed a customer, Silvesta Daye Jr., 43, who was standing near the cash register, Colonel Davis said. Mr. Green then shot and seriously wounded a 22-year-old store employee, officials said. The worker was in stable condition on Monday.
Shortly after the shooting at the store, officers got a call about a fire in an apartment nearby. Officials said Mr. Green had set his apartment on fire, and they found it fully engulfed when they arrived. Officers found a man, later identified as Mr. Green, in the apartment parking lot, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Colonel Davis said.
When detectives went on Sunday afternoon to notify Mr. Green’s parents of his death, they found Douglas Green, 58, and Olivia Green, 62, dead in the garage of their home in Baldwin, Md., about 18 miles north of the Royal Farms store. They had been shot, officials said.
The police said that, so far, there was no apparent motive for the shootings and that it was unclear if the store was somehow meaningful to Joshua Green.
Colonel Davis said the firearm used in the shootings was legally purchased in 2020 by Mr. Green and was registered to him. Officials said he had no “criminal contacts” with the police before the shootings.
It appeared that the gunman acted alone, and officials said they were not searching for anyone else in connection with the shootings.
The Baltimore County police chief, Melissa R. Hyatt, on Monday described what had happened as a “senseless tragedy” and “horrific and sickening.”
“Frankly, all of us have more questions than answers about the events that occurred yesterday,” she said.
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